Made of Stone: Perraudin Architecture
Exploring the practicality of stone, French studio Perraudin Architecture has recently completed a social housing project made with solid stone walls. Despite the traditional materials, the buildings adhere to both a tight budget and the strict energy-saving requirements of modern construction.
One of the most available materials on Earth, stone is an extremely energy-efficient resource for building that when used with intelligence, can be cheaper than concrete and less polluting in manufacture. Stone also has qualities of thermal mass, with the ability to absorb and release surplus heat, providing a natural air-conditioning system.
The load-bearing limestone walls of the three-storey building are a hefty 40cm thick, and are left bare with no use of paint or plaster. Not only does this expose the beauty of the material, but it also helps highlight marks created through the quarrying process.
For more on the growing trend for designers readdressing stone and using the age-old material to challenge convention, see Made of Stone.