Being near water has a calming effect and research studies have shown that water features can positively contribute to our overall mental health and well-being. Incorporating natural stone water features at home can bring both beauty and tranquility into your space. Anne Roberts, president of Chicago based Anne Roberts Gardens Company, finds that people love the sound of water because it’s relaxing. Since not every home has a water feature, adding one is a way to make your home stand out.
Four years of overhaul—the complex’s first major renovation since 1917—resulted in a state capitol worthy of the accolades it has received. The stonework received the 2021 Grande Pinnacle Award from the Natural Stone Institute, while awards for the total project streamed in from many trade organizations: the American Public Works Association, Building Design and Construction magazine, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado, the Construction Management Association of America, and Engineering-News Record Mountain States.
A former hospital complex originally built in 1894, the Old Parkland campus in Dallas, Texas, has seen its share of reclamation and renovation in the past decades. The most recent addition, Freedom Place at Old Parkland, echoes the campus’ existing Jeffersonian buildings in style and design. Designing and building a 140-foot, six-story structure that includes 8,310 pieces of limestone required massive planning and coordination — particularly because the original design plan was created for cast stone.
Andreas and Naomi Kunert, co-founders of Ancient Art of Stone, know they don’t easily fit into one category. Together they create one-of-a-kind art installations using natural stone, crystals, and bronze. Andreas and Naomi are artists, first and foremost. It’s not unusual for their art pieces to be 25’ tall. An upcoming project will include a 900-foot mosaic wall, with 20 feet surrounding it and large doorways with 350 ton standing stones that one can walk through.
Terrazzo is a durable, low maintenance material. Terrazzo has a long history, informed in part by the ancient mosaics of Egypt that were made of small or irregular pieces of stone, glass, or ceramic.
Julia Manglitz, AIA, LEED AP, APT RP, has worked on several building types throughout her career: county courthouses, state capitols and office buildings, university campus halls and community centers. What makes each of these public buildings unique is they’re all landmarks in their communities. Another thing each of them has in common? Almost all feature locally or regionally-sourced natural stone.
Natural stone has a great reputation for environmentally friendly qualities such as its durability, low embodied energy, no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and being a nearly complete material in its natural state. Mother Nature does most of the work, making natural stone a single ingredient material suitable for many interior and exterior applications that perform impeccably over time. Most other building materials require additional ingredients and a more complex manufacturing process. Because these added materials and processes can have a negative impact on our health and the environment, they should be considered when selecting a material for a project.
Dan Shannon and his team wanted to take advantage of the unique footprint of 2 Bryant Park and connect the park to the plaza visually. Choosing the right natural stone would prove to be a pivotal decision. They decided to create a two-story high entry lobby passage through the building and elevate that open space using Thassos White marble from Greece along the primary and surrounding walls.
The formation of Dakota Mahogany marks the last time the Midwest endured a tectonic collision. Since then, seas have advanced and retreated across the landscape, the continents have rearranged themselves in different parts of the globe, and vast ice sheets grew, then melted, then grew again, over the course of several ice ages. After 2.6 billion years of erosion, the Midwest’s former mountain ranges have been worn down, leaving the landscape mostly flat. Through all of this, Dakota Mahogany sat patiently, waiting for its day in the sun.
A stair project is typically all in a day’s work for an engineer, but what PICCO Group put together for a Toronto homeowner counters logic and the perceived limitations of natural stone.
Natural stone is often chosen for residential and commercial work because of its beauty and versatility. It’s also really nuanced, according to Roger P. Jackson. He is drawn to the beauty of natural stone and believes that its beauty goes beyond aesthetics. “Natural stone feels more durable,” Jackson says. “It has a character of strength, stability, durability, and mobility.”