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Design details: Stonework

Stone is currently experiencing a renaissance in contemporary architecture. Emily Brooks reveals how to use it in your project
This Northumberland house is by MawsonKerr Architects; it features a gable-end wall of local stone slabs. A deep mortar joint creates a shadow gap between the stones

If ever there was a building material that conveys a sense of solidity and robustness, stone is it. It encompasses everything from the crisply cut blocks of ashlar used for classical buildings through to local materials used in rural cottages, and while these may vary hugely in appearance, what they have in common is the sense of permanence they communicate.

Today, architects and designers are rediscovering stone as a key building (or, more usually, cladding) material. It comes as part of a wider appreciation of vernacular structures and how they can foster a sense of continuity with local tradition; an approach the planners like. The craftsmanship of stonemasonry and other skills, such as flint-knapping, is also being newly appreciated, and we have a stronger interest in keeping them going. Incorporating stone in a building may also present one of the few opportunities to source something truly local.

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About Build It

The November edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A self-built first home for just £47,000 (page 48) • Why build with oak? (page 64) • Rainwater goods: repair or replace? (page 67) • 5 renovation tips for a healthy home (page 81) • Is open plan living right for you (page 103) • Expert guide to lighting and electrics (page 112) … and more!