The use of natural stone for buildings is one of the most popular options for designers, architects and builders. There are many reasons why natural stone is used in buildings, including natural beauty, sustainability and the ability to last a long time. This months blog from Coulon Stone will explore the five most beautiful and famous buildings and structures around the world that use natural stone and how they use the stone to their advantage.
King Abdullah Financial District Grand Mosque, Saudi Arabia
Inspired by the plates of a desert rose, the Grand Mosque was designed and created to be a structure that ‘rose from the ground’ and created a peaceful and simple alternative to the skyscrapers surrounding it.
With a skin made from tessellated stone and a square metre of over 10,500, one of the fascinating parts of the building is that it is column-free inside. Its structure is designed in such a way as to hide the structural frame within its stone walls that are 2.8 metres deep.
Finished in 2017 and continually enjoyed by many who are in the financial district and looking to pray. This beautiful structure is a work of genius and finished perfectly with its smooth stone exterior.
Norwegian National Ballet and Opera, Oslo
One of the most clever designs that have won awards has to be the Norwegian Ballet and Opera home in Oslo. Taking eight years to complete, with an incredibly unique and innovative design that includes making its sloping marble roof accessible at all times. Ice and snowdrifts transform the building during the winter, and due to its walkway connecting the floor to the roof, visitors are invited to walk to the very top of the building and take in the sights.
The Opera house was constructed using white marble and Norwegian granite (for the cladding touching the water) as part of Oslo’s attempt to redesign the harbourfront into an active public place. With the Opera being the centre of the harbourfront attraction, its design and creativity have undoubtedly brought the waterfront to life and bridged the gap between the city and the water.
City of Culture of Galicia, Spain
The City of Culture of Galicia was opened in 2011. With over 17,000 square meters of library space, this beautiful area is home to 6 buildings, including a museum, art centre, performing arts space, library, and archives. The library and archives are built with quartzite, and the overall look of the collection of structures are designed with gentle curves set to reconstruct a hilltop shape. All rooflines are built with stone to provide a natural look and feel.
The clean, minimalistic lines of the structures combined with the natural stone colour choices leave visitors with a sense of calm and wonderment at the project and its ability to blend into its landscape. The photos of this project do not do it justice, and they should be visited to be appreciated.
The Colosseum, Rome
This giant amphitheatre, also known as Flavian Amphitheatre, was built between 70-72 CE and is still a much visited and loved historical site today. This Colosseum is unlike others of its kind that were built into the side of hills for extra support. The structure we are looking at is entirely freestanding, built with stone and concrete. Its main framework is structured with travertine with internal walls made with volcanic tufa, and the vaults are concrete.
Over time, the Colosseum has been a victim of natural elements such as lightning and earthquakes and, unfortunately, human elements like vandalism and pollution. Decorative items and expensive marble seating disappeared, but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that a restoration project was undertaken. Still one of Rome’s major attractions and playing host to nearly 7 million visitors each year, the Colosseum stands firm.
The Washington Monument, Washington
Completed in 1884 in honour of George Washington and taking 14 years to complete, this obelisk-shaped monument stands at 555 feet tall and was the tallest building in the world when first completed (many buildings have surpassed this height now).
Owing to events beyond the builders’ control, construction was stopped for some time, and once it began again, the original stone used was no longer available. Many visitors will have seen the colour difference the further up the structure you go. A total of 3 types of stone, including marble and granite, were used from various quarries, although the original was never matched perfectly.
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Coulon Stone are the experts for you and your next project
The best way to add value to your home is through the addition of natural stone such as marble and granite. These materials add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any property and add value to homes in all country areas. At Coulon Stone, we will provide you with a selection of beautiful stone ideal for commercial and residential properties. If you are looking for a natural stone to perfect your next project, whether your staircase, fireplace or stone floors, get in contact with Coulon Stone today to see how we can help.