Accessorizing with Stone


Natural Stone

The following case studies highlight the use of natural stone. The stone used was obtained from various stone quarries located in the Rhône-Alpes area of France. Many stones also were obtained from ruins located in various parts of the countryside.

stone quarries located in the Rhône-Alpes area of France

This article highlights five projects: a cabin, a fireplace, a bench and a stone wall. All four projects incorporate the philosophy of Daniel Hörning: integrating organic shapes and placing them in a geometrical order. Hörning places emphasis on natural stone patterns, rather than focusing on joints, using them solely to highlight the design. They are all located in the Drôme provencale, the southern part of the Rhône-Alpes region of France.

Natural Stone  Accessorizing with Stone

Stone cabin – Bourdeaux

The cabin is based on the “borie,” a dry stonewalling hut found in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. It can be viewed as a mock up for a possible bigger property – a meditation room or church. The structure is unique as it is a half a square and half a circle combined, making it a mixture of architecture and art.

The cabin was constructed using “la pierre calcaire” of Puygiron, a limestone (from ivory in color to an intense gray-blue hue) with accents of “pierre du grès,” a sandstone. This limestone is easy to shape as the stone is of a medium hardness. This gives you control in the shaping process, resulting in the sharpest edges possible. Natural lime mortar was used solely to assemble the stones.

Natural Stone  Accessorizing with Stone

Natural Stone  Accessorizing with StoneHörning began with about 65,000 pounds of stones, having selected the blocks at a local quarry. After cutting the blocks with a hydraulic stone splitter followed by manual stone shaping, he ended up with about 33,000 pounds used for the construction.

The total surface size (from outside) is 210 SQUARE FEET; the diameter is 18 feet, and the wall is 20 inches wide. From the inside, the height ranges from 5.6 to 6.9 feet (see Figure 1.)

Fireplace – Truinas

This project was the first fireplace Hörning had ever constructed and was built using sandstone from local ruins. Sandstone is not only esthetically pleasing to this piece, but also it is an excellent heat incubator, because it is compact and porous – similar to bricks.

stone masonry fireplaceThe philosophy Hörning abides by creates an artistic feel to his work. Therefore, the design needed to consist of simple, straight lines and rectangular shapes. To add contrast, small details such as the niche pictured on the side were created as simple accents. A layer of bricks is placed around the fireplace insert to the very top of the fireplace. A gap exists between the brick wall and the natural stone wall, in order for the hot air to circulate and progressively heat the stones. The hot air outlet is located on the right side of the fireplace.

The width of the fireplace is 3.28 feet, the depth is 2.45 feet, the mantle is 5.5 inches, the fireplace insert is 1.8 X 2 feet, and the height is 7.7 feet.

The Bench – Comps

The natural stones for the bench were found in the wilderness, and were used exactly as they were found, with no splitting or cutting aside from the groove created to place the wood portion. What makes it unique is that the stones are asymmetrical and are not shaped into perfect rectangular blocks.

The height of the seat is 18 inches, the depth is 12.5 inches and the length is 4.2 feet. The table that accompanies this piece consists of a metal bar placed into a stone sphere (10-inch diameter).

use of natural stone

The Wave – Salettes

This sandstone wall is created from old “murs de soutènement,” retaining walls used by farmers. This project was built against an already existing wall for visual purposes and was erected in the form of an abstract “wave.” One challenging aspect was to not disrupt the horizontal stone pattern placement when constructing the “movement” of the wave at the very top. The wall is 18 feet in length, and ranges from 4.25 to 6.5 feet.

use of natural stone

Volcanic stone house

The volcanic house is located at 3,000 feet in the middle of Auvergne, a region in central France. It is an isolated stone house built of volcanic stone, called Basalte. The goal of this project was to build a house with the hardest stone on the planet under the concept of “organic shapes in geometrical order,” where no joints are visible. The house will be available for purchase at the end of 2013.

use of natural stone

Related Posts

  • 63
    November 2011 Natural Stone Natural Stone: The Original Building Material Natural stone has been used for every function imaginable, from weapon crafting and shelter construction to monument erection and even as a bartering currency. Natural stone has an indelible imprint on the long history of mankind. By Douglas J. Bachli When natural stone is used…
    Tags: stone, natural
  • 61
    November 2014 Natural Stone Natural Bond: Mortar, Natural Stone and the Mason The Sonoran Desert is considered one of the hottest deserts in North America, but tucked into the rolling hills and dramatic scenery of north Scottsdale, Ariz., sits one of the coolest natural stone residences imaginable. Nestled into one of the many hillsides near…
    Tags: stone, natural
  • 53
    November 2009 Green Building & Natural Stone Slate Floor-Courtesy of Michael Reis, BNP Media Sustainability Through Natural Stone A conversation with the Natural Stone Council’s John Mattke By Brett Martin Three years ago, the Natural Stone Council (NSC) took enormous steps to establish natural stone as a preferred, sustainable building material. After the most comprehensive…
    Tags: stone, natural
  • 46
    December 2009 Chimneys & Fireplaces Renovation With Manufactured Stone Photo courtesy of Gustav Schmiege Photography By Justin Whitman The fireplace is the focal point of every room. Furniture often is arranged to face it, our favorite items are placed on our mantels, and it is the heart of every home. Updating the look of a…
    Tags: stone, fireplace
  • 44
    August 2012 Moisture Management Architectural Cast Stone By Jan Boyer The obelisk is a focal point and significant landmark and made from Cast Stone. If it looks like stone and is a manufactured precast concrete product, then it must be cast stone, right? Wrong. What you are seeing may be adhered manufactured stone masonry veneer…
    Tags: stone


Zachary Zuldema 1st Place (2nd Year) Winner Interview at the World of Concrete

Zachary Zuldema 1st Place (2nd Year) Winner Interview at the World of Concrete

Bill Dentinger 2015 Inductee MCAA Hall of Fame

Bill Dentinger 2015 Inductee MCAA Hall of Fame

John Smith, Jr.

John Smith, Jr. receives the 2015 MCAA C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award

2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel On The Block Winner

2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel On The Block Winner

Daniel Furr 1st Place Winner

Daniel Furr 1st Place Winner (First Year), Masonry Skills Challenge

Synpro Products

Masonry Magazine Video News Interview: Michael Goyne

Hydro Mobile Inc

Interview with Kevin O'Shea of Hydro Mobile, Inc.

Interview with Mark Kemp – Chairman, MCAA

Interview with Masonry Contractors Association of America Chairman, Mark Kemp

Mortar Net Solutions

Interview with Steve Fechino from Mortar Net Solutions

Pullman Ermator

Interview with Lyndon Kelsey of Pullman Ermator

Keene Building Products

Interview with Jim O'Neill of Keene Building Products