Stone is one of the oldest building materials in existence as well as the most durable. Yet with the rise of the industrial revolution and the need for a high volume of materials, architects and builders began to turn toward less expensive options such as steel and cement. In fact, in the US, stone is one of the least used materials for construction, with wood, plastics, brick, and of course steel and concrete taking precedence. While each of these materials have advantages, architects and designers are beginning to once again value the use of stone for their projects. Here, we’ll take a look at why and how.
As previously stated, stone is the most durable building material in the world. This comes as no surprise when we consider structures which have stood the test of time such as the Palace of Westminster, the Colosseum, the Parthenon or the Taj Mahal, to name a few., Less expensive materials such as reinforced concrete are susceptible to wear and erosion with exposure to the elements and frequently require costly repairs.
Stone, on the other hand, is weather-resistant, with some varieties, such as the Pietra di Vicenza (Vicenza stone), actually becoming harder when exposed to rain due to carbonation. This particular stone from northeastern Italy was cherished in Ancient Rome for its purity and strength and regained popularity after the 1950’s when it became widely known that it was used both by Raffaelo and for the great Italian architect Andrea Palladio’s iconic villa designs. Thanks to its strength and resistance, Vicenza stone is ideal for both indoor and outdoor architectural elements. Other stones such as granite, slate, and marble are also ideal for long-lasting interior designs. Whichever you decide to use for your project, stone, while initially more expensive than other alternatives, can actually save money in the long-term due to its longevity and low maintenance costs.
In many parts of the world, stone is widely used especially for its functionality. Largely available and, as we have seen, long-lasting, stone is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, serving especially as wall cladding, floors, columns, fireplaces, door and window sills and more. But today designers are taking advantage of the full potential of this material and are creating functional additions to homes and other structures with stone elements such as floating stairs, sinks, bathtubs, decorative floors and wall coverings, patios and even artistic stone furniture.
It is often thought that stone is mainly used in classic architecture; however, architects and designers are taking on innovative approaches to the material to create breath-taking, modern looks. Thanks to its versatility and to modern technologies, stone can be cut into perfect geometric patterns and can be smoothed and/or left rough and arranged to create eye-popping floor and wall designs. Stone can add a sophisticated, luxurious touch to any home or structure, and the possibility to create unforgettable environments using this prized material is truly endless.
Stone is also becoming increasingly attractive to architects and designers for its sustainability during this historic moment in time when never before has there been such awareness of our impact on the environment. 100% natural, stone takes less energy and creates less emissions to quarry than it does to produce man-made building materials. Thanks to this awareness, agencies in the natural stone industry are more commonly using traditional excavation methods, creating underground labyrinths in order to leave the exposed environment untouched. In addition, stone can be disposed of and recycled, as it is free of pollutants.
As we have seen, architects and designers are adapting to changing times, in particular to the climate crisis, by turning to traditional building materials such as stone for its durability, functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability. We here at Atlantic Link are proud to partner with Grassi Pietre, which has been providing some of the most beautiful and long-lasting natural stones for construction and decor in the world. With four generations of know-how, Grassi Pietre combines expertise in stone composition with both traditional, eco-friendly extraction methods in their own quarry in Vicenza, Italy and innovative production and design. They have been providing the renowned Vincenza stone for all over the world, for projects ranging from wall cladding, floors, stairs, fireplaces, kitchen and bathroom elements and more. Whether you prefer a classic look or a modern one for your project, Grassi Pietre can provide you what you’re looking for: a touch of luxury and refinement that lasts.
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