Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE
Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd.
Architect: Gensler Architects
General Contractor: Tribble & Stephens Constructors, Residencial IV, Ltd.
Suppliers: Upchurch Kimbrough ; Headwaters Construction Materials ; Siteworks, Inc.
Owner: Midway CC Hotel Partners, LP
Wall System: Cavity Wall: Brick Veneer/Steel Stud
The City Center Building 9 Valencia Hotel Project (now renamed Hotel Sorella) is a 13 story hotel and restaurant on the northwest side of Houston, TX at the intersection of I-10 and Beltway 8. The building consists of 159,000 tan arriscraft split face 4” x 12” units, 10,000 titanium arriscraft smooth face 4” x 12” accent units, 10,000 tan arriscraft smooth face 12” x 24” units, 110 limestone 4” thick x 4’-0” wide x 2’-0” tall wainscot pieces, 110 limestone 3” thick x 4’-0” wide x 1’-0” tall watertable pieces, 1,800 SF of Black Ledge Slate and 300 cast stone coping pieces.
A few of the challenges that Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. incurred was getting accustomed to the unusual arriscraft unit that would be used throughout the project. The main unit for the project was to be a solid 4” deep x 4” tall x 12” long split face arriscraft unit with one end split and the other smooth. The design on the ends of the unit was to eliminate the need for special corner pieces. Extreme care was required to ensure the head joints were straight and of a consistent width since in some cases the two bricks butting each other would be split face against smooth face or split face against split face. Also, because the units were solid 4” x 4” x 12” with a rough split face, they were more difficult to handle and lay in comparison to a typical brick unit. In addition to the awkward weight and size of the units, since they were made from calcium silicate they required prewetting to ensure adequate bonding. Another challenge Camarata Masonry dealt with, was the overall height of the building which reached 162 feet high above the ground. Due to the extra weight of the arriscraft units, the limited site space and the fact that some of the scaffolding would need to be built on top of lightweight lower roofs, we elected to use welded tubular frame scaffolding. This type of scaffolding is normally not used at this height but in addition to addressing the aforementioned concerns, it allowed other trades to utilize our scaffolding to access their work while we were installing the veneer, which benefited the completion schedule of the project.
The end result was an attractive luxury hotel which will be used by both visitors and local Houstonians for many years. The building maintains its high end appearance day or night and provides the hotel occupants several different views of Houston’s ever changing landscape.The City Center Building 9 Valencia Hotel Project (now renamed Hotel Sorella) is a 13 story hotel and restaurant on the northwest side of Houston, Texas at the intersection of I-10 and Beltway 8. The building’s façade consists of over 179,000 Arriscraft calcium silicate units in an unusual “brick size” along with limestone, slate ledge rock and cast stone.
Date of Project Completion: October 2009
Photography by Richard Payne