Peter’s Corner: why is there no innovation in the natural stone awards?

Experimental building in wood, Petter Bergerud.Vinyard Pérez Cruz, Chile. Planing: José Cruz Ovalle. Photo Juan Purcell. Source: Exhibition „Building in Wood“, Berlin.

Only one worldwide distinction exists for innovation in building and design with natural stone

The photos above awaken a desire for wood as a building material. The first shows a bridge, designed by Prof. Petter Bergerud of Norway’s Bergen University, the second depicts a Chilean vineyard.

Hard to imagine the full scope of what can be built from wood nowadays, including skyscrapers and wind power stations.

The most innovative projects are rewarded with prizes sponsored by the wood branch. And the same holds true for projects in steel, clay or other building materials.

Not so for the natural stone branch. Its prizes are not directed at innovative implementation.
Does that mean that there is no innovation in the branch?

Of course there is. Our section „Natural Stone in Architecture“ is full of it. See below for a few links showing examples in various countries.

But every natural stone Trade Organization has a membership or tonnage ideology: prizes are bestowed on the submissions using the most stone or on members who were up for special recognition.

There is but one exception, i.e. the natural stone prize from France. It has a section „Special Mention“ where innovative ideas are welcome.

We ask: is it conceivable that other Trade Organizations might follow the good example and open a section for innovative ideas? The usual restrictions would not apply ( prizes only for members, only local submissions, submissions for an entry fee….) and innovative implementation would be rewarded.

Natural stone could shake off its image as an old-fashioned material and restore the fun in experimenting for architects.

Stone-Innovation from Italy/France

Stone-Innovation from Italy

Stone-Innovation from the US

Stone-Innovation from the UK

Stone-Innovation from Germany

Stone-Innovationfrom Switzerland

(28.06.2019, USA: 06.28.2019)