The resort is host to the annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament, which last year saw a record 60,000 plus visitors. For several outdoor spaces throughout this project, designers chose to use Belgard’s Mirage Quarziti 2.0 porcelain pavers in both River and Waterfall colors. The porcelain’s look offered a complement to Edgewood’s elegant, rustic motif.
The landscape architects, Design Workshop, helped create an aesthetic that designer Eric Roverud, PLA, AICP, CDT, refers to as “mountain modern.” They chose contemporary, larger-scale materials for the resort’s four main exterior spaces. The porcelain’s tones are lighter than the stone veneers of Edgewood’s buildings, which themselves were designed to recede into the landscape. “Throughout the property the exterior materials were meant to be secondary to the surrounding environment — beautiful but without competing with the lake and the mountain vistas that are the real feature here,” Roverud said.
Originally, designers looked to stone pavers, but these were costly, and the team was concerned about the material’s ability to be snow melted with an embedded heating system. They then explored porcelain slabs as a solution for both cost and maintenance. One of the large spaces where the material would be used was an outdoor dining patio. “You could anticipate there would be food and drink spills frequently, and the owners needed an efficient way to keep the material clean. We knew we could safely recommend power washing with the porcelain pavers, and the relatively thin profile of the porcelain paver allowed to be easily snow melted without damage during the winter months,” Roverud said.
Damian Swain of Belgard Sales brought 24 x 24 samples of Mirage to Roverud and he thought the product’s aesthetics fit the mountain modern they were going for, with the durability and maintenance attributes the project needed. Design Workshop chose River and Waterfall because the colors reflect the natural variations in the local granite.
The Mirage pavers also presented a more affordable choice than natural stone. When natural stone is used for paving, the product must be sawn on six sides. “This could cost three times as much as the Mirage,” Swain said.
Design Workshop chose to use stock, 24 x 24 pavers for the dining terrace and walkway to the lodge’s main entrance. Because Mirage’s pavers can be custom cut and engraved for specific applications, they were able to vary the design by having the pavers cut into 18 x 36 pieces for the pool deck and one of the adjacent fire pits. Custom treatments for the pool coping entailed cutting these in half, then laying them a half-inch apart to create the zero-edge pool drain, with grip edges cut into the material on the pool side. Rather than break up the look of the pavers with plastic skimmer drain covers, architects chose instead to have pieces of the Mirage custom-cut by a water jet to fit over the lids.
“We also had the pool deck decals and the swim and depth markers, required by code, engraved into the Mirage by a water jet,” Roverud said. “This let us create a seamless material finish on the pool deck.”
All pavers in the pool and terrace areas were laid in sand on top of a concrete slab that has a hydronic heating system embedded in it. The pavers for the fire pit were set in the grass for a more naturalized appearance, with the added benefit of visually breaking up the distinct spaces.
“The fire pit felt like a very different space from the upper terrace. It was nice to be able to take the same module (the porcelain paver) and just use a slightly different treatment to define spaces in the landscape,” Roverud said. “By setting the fire pit’s pavers with grass between them, we could change the ground plane treatment but keep the main design theme.”
The Tahoe region sees temperature variables from 20 degrees at night to 50 degrees by day throughout the winter, so the ability of the porcelain to withstand not only these weather temperature changes, but also to endure having heat beneath when there is cold air above, was one of its advantages over stone. In fact, the region faced its harshest winter in nearly a decade when the product was being installed and it did not suffer any damage.
“If natural stone has any imperfections or hidden flaws, they’re bound to come out with water freezing and thawing on the surface, or as a result of the frequent freeze-thaw cycle we have,” Swain said. “The porcelain can tolerate these conditions much better than concrete and stone."
Since the grand opening, Design Workshop has won several awards for The Lodge at Edgewood, including Placemaking Award of Excellence, Transformative Place Award, ULI Nevada; Merit Award for Design, ASLA California Sierra; Merit Award for Planning & Analysis, ASLA Colorado; and No. 1 Resort Hotel in the U.S., Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.