Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters – Atlanta, GA, USA
Overview: MAPEI products for self-leveling, resilient flooring installation and grouting were used to help construct Mercedes-Benz USA, the new company headquarters in Atlanta. The three-story, 200,000-square-foot (18 581 m²) building will house marketing, sales, customer service, accounting and other functions.
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has joined a lengthy list of Fortune 500 companies in the Atlanta area, including Delta Air Lines, Aflac, UPS and Home Depot. Founded in 1926, Mercedes-Benz has become a brand renowned for luxury, living up to its well-suited slogan, “The best or nothing.”
The site of the new USA headquarters projects a low profile, finding balance between the surrounding mid-rise office developments, the low urban scale residential neighborhood and Perimeter Mall. MBUSA’s subtle, windshield-like glass exterior is adorned with a massive replication of the unmistakable insignia stamped high above the entryway. Inspired by transparency, availability and sociability, MBUSA President and CEO Dietmar Exler explained that “the idea of the building is cooperation and working together.” The emphasis on creating communal work areas led the architectural firm Gensler to design exposed offices and collaborative workspaces in multifunctional rooms.
The three-story building comprises floor-to-ceiling windows, full glass facades, high ceilings, open-concept floor plans and balconies overlooking an expansive atrium. To begin work, installers used Planipatch and Ultraplan 1 Plus to flatten the substrate and level the floors. Ultrabond ECO 810 was applied underneath modern gray, black and white striped 24" x 24" (61 x 61 cm) Migrate and Color Form carpet tiles from Shaw. The core of the building is the atrium, which doubles as a cafeteria and informal meeting area. In this area, and leading to the adjoining commercial kitchen, Keracolor S in “Avalanche” color was used to grout white 6" x 36" (15 x 91 cm) Starker Porcelain tiles by Unicom. In several bathrooms, Keracolor S was also applied to marbled floors, walls, the mosaic tiles in showers and the backsplashes in break rooms. The lowest level of the building houses a state-of-the-art fitness center. Ultrabond ECO 575 was used to install 13,000 linear feet (3 962 m) of Johnsonite Rubber Wall Base in the gym, providing easy cleanability. The Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters officially opened in 2018.
Piedmont House – Atlanta, GA, USA
Overview: A full system of MAPEI products was used to construct an impressive, new high-rise tower in Midtown Atlanta. The Atlanta Midtown Alliance joined forces with Wood Partners to develop Piedmont House, formerly known as Alta at the Park. Located adjacent to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, the 22-story, 300,000- square-foot (27 871 m²) apartment development features 198 penthouse-inspired residences, 2,500 sq. ft. (232 m²) of retail space and a shared parking garage. The living area begins on the seventh floor, sitting atop a six-story parking garage.
The architectural design by Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, LLC reflects elegance and beauty, down to the detail of including a baby grand piano and wine lounge. The complex also includes premium amenities on the seventh floor and a second amenity space on the 22nd-floor rooftop with a spectacular view of Piedmont Park. Piedmont Park has a long and varied history, but its most historic moment was as host of the Cotton States and International Exposition in 1895. Since then, the park has become a destination for special events, festivals, concerts and much more.
It is no coincidence that the landscape of Piedmont Park evokes thoughts of New York’s Central Park. The sons of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the master plan for rejuvenating the park, as they have for Grant Park (Chicago, IL), Prospect Park (Brooklyn, NY), and the gardens of the United States Capitol and the White House.
MAPEI products were used to set all the tile and wood flooring, including double-stick applications of Ultrabond ECO 975 used to adhere a sound-control underlayment. In the urban-inspired lobby, Ultraflex LHT was used to set contemporary 12" x 36" (30 x 91 cm) Borneo Blue tiles on the entry walls. This particular tile style will be unique to this high-rise because this tile style has subsequently been discontinued. The floors and 15-foot-high (4.57 m) walls were also set with Ultraflex LHT and tiled with 24" x 24" (61 x 61 cm) Concrete Black Lappato, black and Lappato white tiles special-delivered by air from Spain.
Each apartment features a chef-inspired kitchen, engineered hardwood flooring (which extends to the living areas), Bosch stainless-steel appliances and quartz countertops. To amplify these elements, Strada Mist Veincut Marble polished mosaic tiles were set with Ultraflex LHT and grouted with Ultracolor Plus FA. Bathroom floors and walls were tiled with 12" x 24" (30 x 61 cm) Interceramic Porcelain Pewter tiles.
A big draw to utilizing MAPEI products was the company’s full system offerings of mortars, grouts, adhesives and self-levelers. “The floors were poured poorly, so we used MAPEI products to level them out,” said contractor Sam Munsi. “I'm a big proponent of supplying all the materials on the job from one brand... This is why I look for full systems from MAPEI.”