john toates, aia
berwyn, pa.

down and out

Toates is so enamored with Classic Gutter Systems’ downspout clean out that he uses it on almost every project. “I install [it] at every downspout right above where it will go into the cast iron boot,” he says. Available in smooth round copper and chromated aluminum, the product incorporates a screen that prevents debris from clogging the drain. Periodic cleaning of the screen is required. Classic Gutter Systems, 269.665.2700;

logico thinking

Rendered in hand-blown Venetian glass with a satin finish, Artemide’s Logico ceiling fixture adds a soft touch to a modern interior. “This sinuous glass fixture comes in multiple sizes, and can be combined to create larger groupings of surface mount and hanging combinations,” Toates explains. It has die-cast aluminum fittings and uses a medium-base bulb. Artemide, 877.278.9111;

shake it

The Williamsburg 14 interlocking roof tiles have a sawn wood shake texture and a square butt, which the architect likes “because they closely emulate the appearance of a wood shingle roof but have over a 75-year life span.” Available in all of the manufacturer’s colors, the tiles have a permanent non-fading finish and won’t rot, warp, curl or burn like wood. Ludowici Roof Tiles, 800.945.8453;

clean slate

Made from Portland cement, silica sand, and fillers, Fireslate is formed under 400 tons of pressure and steam and then air-cured. “I like using the product for kitchen counters or laundry rooms where the effect of a soapstone appearance is desired without the maintenance issues,” Toates says. Shown here in a Zimmerman Architects–designed kitchen, the product has no veins, does not delaminate, and weighs 40 percent less than stone. Fireslate, 800.523.5902;

other favorites

Superior Clay;


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