Drift is a luxury boutique development of 11 apartments in Cronulla, Sydney. Spanning six- storeys plus two levels of basement parking, the project was created as a full concrete building suspended on concrete columns and slabs.

Due to its coastal location, Sammut Developments designed the building to require as little maintenance as possible and researched products which would fit its requirements. One of those products was Ledge Stone in Golden Quartz by DecoR Stone. The stacked stone product is manufactured from natural stone and was used for external and internal feature walls in Drift’s lobby. It was also used to frame fireplaces inside apartments.

“We wanted a natural stone finish, and we also wanted the flexibility of using a product like Ledge Stone because it’s locked in pieces like tile- type products,” says John Sammut, managing director at Sammut Developments, the builder of the project.

One of the problems of traditional stacked stone systems is the labour and time required to stack each stone piece-by-piece. But because Ledge Stone comes as interlocked pieces, the product takes less time to install. “The main reason we used this was because it was the closest thing we could find that looked similar to individual looking stacked stone. Instead of laying the stones one-by-one, we could lay it quicker and faster than laying piece after piece in a dry stacked wall system,” Sammut says.

“As the DécoR Ledge Stone is made out of natural stone, it also provided a permanent feature in preference to an artificial cladding material.”

Ledge Stone is manufactured using natural stone materials such as slate, granite, quartz and schist and come in the sizes 610 mm x 152 mm. Sammut initially discovered the product through an advertisement in BPN and had not previously used the product, but says the installation method was similar to other stacked stone systems.

“The beauty of this product is they provide you with matching corners so you don’t actually have to cut the corners. These interlocking corners make it very versatile — you’ve just got to get your tiler or tradesman to put it together and stack it up.” The interlocking panels are made up of small stone pieces which are set on a cementitious backing to create the texture of veneer panels.

For external walls over 3m, Sammut placed a concealed, stainless steel aluminium angle through the Ledge Stone to support it so it didn’t buckle out due to weight. Besides this, he says the installation remained the same as the internal walls.

“The thing that was the main advantage was the versatility of it and the quick process of getting that stacked stone wall look, and it was the best looking one that we could find that matched a proper dry stacked stone system,” Sammut says.

Upon completion, due at the end of 2009, around 400 sqm of Ledge Stone will have been used in Drift.

Stephanie McDonald