Located on the edge of Universal Studios, the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando boasts beautiful shopping malls, many restaurants, and upscale residential communities. So when Greystar™ developers chose the Dr. Phillips location for its new Overture 55+ active adult apartment homes, the company sought to build “beautifully crafted residences and resort-inspired amenities” reflecting the charm of the community with easy access to all it offers.
To complement the modern, contemporary theme envisioned for the property, landscape architect Architectural Alliance designed attractive hardscapes for the pool, welcoming front entranceway and signage, gates, as well as a dog park. “It was unique for us,” says Brian Euell, RLA, project director for Architectural Alliance. “The customer wanted a seamless look with not a lot of joint spacing.” Euell notes they originally considered porcelain paving in the lounge area and for the amenity deck, but pavers provided elegance, while being more economical. Belgard’s Moduline and Holland Stone pavers ultimately fit the bill for this hardscape design.
“We like to use cool grays and whites together because they lend a clean, modern look to amenities such as cabanas, outdoor and lounge furniture,” says Euell. “…we chose Pewter, Gray, Charcoal and White, and decided to alternate the colors end-to-end. The colors also worked well with the pool tile selection.” At the front entrance, Architectural Alliance wanted to create a unique pattern that they haven’t used before. They went with a “u” shape with alternating color bands of gray, white and charcoal that was a different look from other developments in the area.
Moduline Combo 4×12 and 4×16 were used in the front entrance, at 4” thick to withstand vehicle traffic. “Orlando is hot, and these would be in intense, direct sun so it was important we could be confident in the pavers’ ability to withstand both traffic and extreme conditions,” added Euell.
Olympic Pavers, which does residential paver and pool deck jobs, as well as commercial and multi-family hardscape projects, installed the pavers. They first worked through all drainage challenges and considerations with Architectural Alliance. The installation then started in the courtyard with a breezeway and then expanded to the driveway. As they laid pavers by hand, Olympic had to pay careful attention to the color-pattern design Euell and his team created.
Courtney Blair, operations manager for Olympic Pavers, who was on site every day to oversee the job worked very closely with JP Teig of Belgard to make sure the material needed to keep the pattern correct was delivered and staged correctly. “It’s similar to a giant puzzle and because we do it by hand and not with a paver machine, we have to pay close attention to the layout and color pattern—it is more of an art form creating these designs,” commented Blair. She added, “It was great to be in the field for a job of this scope. Unlike a residential job, where you might have three profiles of pavers and some planks, there so many paver profiles on a large multi-family job. Staging and set-up is also a challenge when you have that many pavers. This is where JP proved invaluable.”
Olympic also had to work around multiple other trades on the job, sharing space with HVAC contractors and window installers, among others. Staging the massive load of hardscape materials was critical to efficiency and accuracy on the project. “There are lots of pavers in active use and you must ensure the pattern is consistent throughout,” explains Blair.
The other challenge was making sure to follow ADA requirements within the scope of the paver project and keep a very close eye on safety, particularly as there was a lot of wet cutting on site. Blair notes, “We have to make sure the right gear is worn, which can be really tough in the Florida blazing sun and heat. You also have to stay hydrated.”
Concrete bands were used for the edging to hold it all together, with the borders being installed last. The region has flat ground and sandier soil than other areas, so this is a unique border to suit the conditions.
Euell noted, “We’re very happy with how it turned out and it’s been well received by residents. We’ve had many good comments from them. In fact, we’re doing the same pattern on another project for Greystar.”
Read more in “Hardscape Trends For Outdoor Living.”