xMiscellen(March 2009) A luxury hotel in the style of the Waldorf Astoria is presently being built in Berlin, and is due to be completed in 2011. The builder is an investor-group from Abu Dhabi. The architect is Christoph Mäckler from Frankfurt/Main, Germany. Other recent projects of the Hilton-Group include sites in Sarasota (to be completed 2010), Montreal (2011) and Philadelphia (2012).

Radon Test developed by the marble Institute of America (MIA) to dissipate consumer fears.

China experiences building boom. This has been the case for some years. The rest of the world knows little about Chinese local architecture, which has realized some unusual projects. A website gives some insight. We want to highlight the project „Fake Hills“ in the artist centre Behai, living quarters like a slice on the beach, and the new city of Huaxi.

The future of tomb stones is the theme of a special exhibit at this year’s Stone+tec to be held in Nuremberg/Germany from Mai 20th to 23rd 2009. The exhibit will present new concepts in movable tomb stones or personalized grave stones. The background is that an ever increasing number of Germans reject the traditional tomb stone tradition or chose an anonymous burial.

Engineered Stones have been discovered by Designers, too: the Dutch artist Joris Laarmann uses a material made of marble mixed with porcelain and resin for his „Bone Furniture“.

An open source data base (Wiki) on natural stone has been launched (in German). Similar to Wikipedia (expert-)parties can submit articles and download information.