Project Spotlight

Our New Project Using Indigenous Stone

Project Spotlight

It’s always exciting when we have the opportunity to use indigenous stone found on-site to use for our project masonry needs.  Actually, it’s rare when the opportunity presents itself at all.   Here in New Jersey, we’re typically digging up shale or a soft stone that’s not structurally sound enough for building, and most times when the stone is sound, either it’s color or natural form isn’t complimentary to what’s happening architecturally.

Well thankfully, on our new project site that’s not the case.   As you can see on the deck columns (above image), our clients picked a natural stone common to the area.  The retaining walls we built in the foreground are made from the same stone (collected on-site), as those used on the house.

Now some folks might wonder why using indigenous stone  is so meaningful. To quote a great architect and thinker, Frank Lloyd Wright;

Wright put into practice what he preached, and there’s no better example than the residence he designed in southwest Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, about 90 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.

The iconic house named “Falling Water” emphasizes the connection between architecture and nature by repeating existing elements found on-site.  For instance, Wright incorporated a rock outcropping that projected above the living room floor into his massive central hearth, and his contouring of the house into cantilevered ledges makes the structure appear as if it were a natural extension of the rock strata of the adjacent stream bed.

Wright further emphasizes the connection with nature by liberal use of glass; the house has no walls facing the falls, only a central stone core for the fireplaces and stone columns. This provides elongated vistas leading the eye out to the horizon and the woods.  The architect’s creative use of “corner turning windows” without mullions causes corners to vanish. Wright even bows to nature by bending a trellis beam to accommodate a pre-existing tree.

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