beneath the surface blog

  1. Detailing Backlit Onyx Panels: Why There Isn’t a “Typical”

    In studying our website metrics that indicate which keywords our visitors are searching for, it’s mind-boggling how many designers are searching for answers to detailing backlit panels. And while we love to stock our website full of useful information that makes it easy for busy designers to quickly understand and specify our backlit onyx systems, […]

    Read more
  2. Backlit Ham: Can Intense Light Beautify Any Object?

    “Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson In brainstorming blog posts that connect backlighting to the holiday season (translucent onyx ornaments? scrapping string lights in lieu of flat panels?), we came across this image of sliced ham in […]

    Read more
  3. Lighting Control: Speaking Frankly About Dimming Benefits to Building Owners

    In the overview blog post, The 10 Benefits of Lighting Control for Greener, Smarter Building Design, Bill Trammel of the Lighting Control Pros blog outlines the main benefits of implementing lighting control into architectural design.  This blog post provided a great overview of points that can both enlighten designers AND provide relevant data to assist them […]

    Read more
  4. Backlit Granite: Transform Bar and Restaurant Spaces from Day to Night

    Backlit granite bars with the correct lighting controls allow designers to explore the furthest ranges of materiality. Granite is often associated with traditional countertops, but with advanced technology and the correct backlighting system, the flip of a switch can dramatically transform from day to night. For this backlit granite bartop application in Dubai, GPI developed […]

    Read more
  5. Exterior Stone Panels at Denver Justice and Detention Center

    For this recently completed commercial courthouse project in Denver, GPI’s involvement ranged from stone selection, detailed shop tickets, quality control in production, and shipping coordination.  Our skilled installation partners at Cleveland Marble Mosaic took the reins on-site to complete the installation with skilled craftsmanship. These stone panels and cladding fit seamlessly into existing site conditions […]

    Read more
  6. Communicating Your Backlit Natural Onyx Designs – A Guide for Designers

    Designing and specifying backlit onyx panels is a unique process. (Since onyx is a natural stone material, you can’t just call up Mother Nature and ask her to send samples of her latest collection.) This post outlines the three key items that you need to communicate in order for your backlit onyx design visions to […]

    Read more
  7. “Paper Snowflakes”: Exploring Materiality

    Cleveland’s first snowfall hasn’t occurred yet, but these recent projects are bringing back holiday memories of long afternoons spent at the kitchen table, mutilating sharp white stacks of printer paper with meticulous scissor cuts. The process of making paper snowflakes explores the materiality of paper: folding, bending, and cutting flat planes. Perhaps most rewardingly, the […]

    Read more
  8. Backlit Glass Panels Form A Glowing Feature Wall in Lancaster: A Brief Case Study

    Bringing together fine art photographs of natural grasses, custom bent glass, and LED backlighting can be difficult – throw in a curved shape with a narrow lighting cavity and the stage was set for this example of custom integration at the lobby of Lancaster General Health Women and Babies Hospital. Architects Noelker and Hull wanted […]

    Read more
  9. Evolution of Backlit Ceiling Panels

    We stumbled across a great article today that traces the history of backlit panels.  In the article “Techniques 7: The Backlit Panel”, Lauren Vanderkar and Doug James outline the evolution of backlit panels for architectural applications from office lighting to tequila bars. With particular focus on site-specific conditions that create a need for these backlit wall […]

    Read more
  10. Top 3 Tips for Designing with Backlit Glass Panels

    Designing with translucent surfaces, structure, and backlighting is a delicate balance– those are three difficult materials to make work together. There are several methods to illuminate glass panels with backlighting, and chances are if you’re creating a ceiling or wall, then you have little space in which to throw the light. Because glass is a […]

    Read more
  11. Backlighting Corian Surfaces: A Brief Case Study

    Considering highlighting a countertop or reception desk with an illuminated white surface? At a recent project for a custom reception desk, smooth white Corian® surfaces were illuminated by GPI’s custom LED backlighting system. Providing an intriguing focal point, the luminous desk has clean lines and a sleek white appearance that was fitting for the space […]

    Read more
  12. Creating Unique Works of Art in Stone and Light

    Upon the dawn of a new project, our architect and designer clients are quick to ask “do you have photographs of a similar application?”. (Part of us must think designers are trained to ask those kinds of questions, as logic and an obligation to guide the owner to make sound investments take hold in these […]

    Read more
  13. Stone: Authenticity in a Plastic World

    In your typical daily life, how many objects do you interact with that are made of stone? (Think through your day, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Do you ever see or touch stone? Is it far away or within reach? Is it on the wall, floor, ceiling, […]

    Read more