Almost as long as men have been building, they have used stone such as Travertine, Marble and Jerusalem stone. All three have been use for adorning and decorating, facades, paving and flooring especially used in buildings special importance.
Jerusalem stone is the name applied to a pale limestone quarried in Palestine and Israel that has been used as the predominant building local material for thousands of years. In its namesake city, the Wailing Wall is constructed of Jerusalem stone and there is a legal requirement that all municipal buildings have a fascia in the stone, which is often also called the Holy Stone.
In Roman times, the most famous and largest building in the ancient world, the Coliseum in Rome, was constructed almost entirely Travertine and it was used throughout the Empire with many structures still standing today over 2000 years later.
In modern time major architects have recognised Travertine’s beauty in such notable modern buildings such as the Willis tower, often incorporating it into wall cladding, floors and facades. In the 1960’s world renowned Architect Gordon Bunshaft designed and built his own modernist home in East Hampton, New York. Bunshaft choose Travertine as his cladding material even calling the property Travertine House.
Marble too has of course been prized throughout history particularly for adorning high class buildings. The stone is renowned for its beauty and has been favoured down the ages by stonemasons for its ability to be carved. One the worlds most visited buildings, the Taj Mahal, gleams in the Indian sun clad entirely in intricately carved white polished marble.
For today’s Architects these ancient and beautiful stones offer a tough and elegant to alternative to the concrete and can be combined with modern building methods and materials to stunning effect.