2019 CID Award Winner Spotlight: United Polaris


At Coverings 2019, we honored ten outstanding projects that demonstrated spectacular craftsmanship and creativity in the use of tile & stone. This week we’re putting the spotlight on the Commercial Tile Design winner.

Commercial Tile Design Winner

United Polaris
Fiandre and Solomon Cordell Buenz
Newark, NJ and San Francisco, CA

United Polaris Lounges, created specifically for United’s premier customers traveling to international destinations, embrace high style with a luxury aesthetic. The architect and design firm studied high-end materials, distinctive lighting, and impactful art to create a truly differentiated experience for travelers.

The United Polaris Lounges embrace the energy of its destinations and metropolitan locales. Customers can relax in private seating areas with amenities such as daybeds and shower suites.

From a private dining area to a bistro-like buffet and a cocktail menu with signature drinks and craft cocktails, visitors can expect a culinary journey with an inventive menu featuring international comfort foods.

The architect selected 6-mm-thick slabs, which emulate the look and feel of Calacatta marble, but were a much more cost-effective solution than natural stone. According to the architect and design firm who worked directly with United’s design team on the design concept, the overall design goals for the Polaris lounge projects are twofold.

First, to create a new luxury passenger experience centered on exclusivity, personalization and comfort; and second to create a sense of continuity between the new onboard cabin experience and the lounge. The hospitality-level amenities support United’s vision for an unprecedented standard of passenger services.

Nearly 200 10 ft x 5 ft gauged porcelain tile panels were utilized — 180 polished and 17 honed — Calacatta Light with its distinct grey veining is predominant throughout the lounge. Some of the panels were book matched to show what porcelain is capable of today, thanks to digital printing technology. The marble-look tile selection complements the lounge’s contemporary aesthetic. The tile portion of the project took around six months to complete and the project has received much praise for the beauty and high-quality appeal of the space.

Do you have a recently completed project that features innovative design and installation of tile & stone? Consider entering it to the 2020 CID Awards – the submission portal will open this fall.