Size of Stone

What should be the size of the stone you use for floors or for walls?

Answer: It depends on the surface area of the floors or walls in consideration.

Answer # 2: It also depends on how much do the eyes see in one go. Now that is a difficult thing to figure.

Answer # 3: It depends on how patient you are with a process of making a beautiful floor or a beautiful wall.

Generally speaking, smaller stones would serve better and look lovelier for a long period time.

Beyond 4 Sides of a Rectangle

How is this for your floor? If not indoors, then what about outdoors? Can you appreciate the surface finish of these multi-sided irregular stones?

I’ve observed that plenty of rooms are floored with the same kind of gigantic rectangular slabs of stone or marble, irrespective of the size of surface area to be floored.

Big slabs are faster and may be easier to lay, and therefore quite easily, also quite ugly to look at. The other day I was at someone’s place in Shahibag, Ahmedabad, and they’ve put huge glossy slabs on the walls! Alright!

One measure for those who are getting their interior/exterior design done:

Size of the surface area of the floor / Size of a rectangular slab (or stone piece)

The the greater the result, the better you would feel when the floor is done.

For example, if the room is 15ft * 12ft, and the slab size is 6ft * 2.5ft, it will take just 12 slabs to floor the entire area. Now think if the stone size is 1.5ft * 1.5ft, it will take 80 stone-pieces to floor the area.

Which is a better option? 16 or 80? For your eyes? For your feet? For creative floor surfacing? For the long term?

Is Uniformity = Perfection?

Builders and building contractors give us orders for supply of truck-load of granite and marble and natural stone. The give us orders based on ‘samples’ that we show them. They approve the sample. By approval of sample, it means that the supplier has to supply the same quality in every slab of granite. What is quality?

What is quality? Is it uniformity?

Can a certain quantity of natural stone be represented through ‘a sample’? How can anyone in the world guarantee adherence of different slabs of granite to one ‘approved sample’?

Is ‘approved sample’ a perfect piece of granite or stone?

In natural stone and granite, you won’t be able to come to any great understanding of quality. Because of its very nature it is impossible to standardize the quality beyond the physical dimensions of slabs or stone. No matter the sample, you are not going to get identical looking granite or stone.

Even if one assumes that slabs and pieces of stone can be sorted and grouped strictly based on certain parameters, the cost of sorting is prohibitive.

Based on the purchase order, when the material ordered reaches the site, the builders and building contractors and their employees at the site engage in ‘quality checking’. The understanding of ‘quality’ is at best vague, unspecified and unclear, but since there is an ‘approved sample’, these clients offer all kinds of reasons to ‘reject’ the material that’s delivered.

Costs of handling natural stone are so high that all such rejections crush the supplier financially.

Do these builders of Ahmedabad know?

We are the children of our landscape; it dictates behaviour and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it.

Lawrence Durrell in “JUSTINE”

What response do those vitrified tiles generate?

What response does that interior design generate?

Do they even generate anything? Anything worthwhile?

How many types of material for interior design?

There’s this semi-fraud-acquaintance who took a lot of assistance from my Dad in getting stone and design related work for his big house project. I am compelled to call it house coz it’s hard to call it bungalow.

One of the features of this man’s project is the numerous kinds of stone and surface material he has used to garnish his house with, both inside and outside.

Needless to say, I was appalled at the way it all felt when I got a chance to visit this site once, more than a year back. The work’s still going on I hear.

Taj Mahal is primarily a one stone work.

Kailash Temple, they say, is not just one stone, it is one-rock work. Incredible, isn’t it.

Now, for the sake of funny arguments, a professional like an architect or an interior designer or a status-symbol-maker may say but these are public monuments, not houses for living. So let me ask another question.

Would you want a house that looks as gorgeous as a monument or a house that looks like a hodge-podge of materials?

Funny argumenter may even say, “But monuments require more money and space to make.” Really? Is that so?

The practitioners and house-makers of today’s age seem to earn a lot from the use of materials instead of the use of imagination. Bitter and easier said and true wherever I see.

Pyramid full of Flats

In Ahmedabad, you can witness the architectural obscenities in the form of flats almost everywhere you go. Especially the newly developed or developing areas.

Contrast Ahmedabad’s flats with these, built somewhere in China. Out here wonky urban planners and funny builders are trying to extract every little penny out of the FSI allowances and policies by making cubic and cuboidal blocks typically painted in horrible greys and browns.

We are looking for a builder to work with who attempts something like this.

Distinct and charming in its own way! You may want to check some more pictures here.

Please forgive them, the folks at Mail Online (dailymail.co.uk) who have written the linked article and bizarrely titled it Bizarre ‘pyramid-shaped’ building in China becomes an internet sensation.

Is there anything more depressing than…

The other day I was at PVR Acropolis to watch Tapsee Pannu starrer Thappad. While the movie felt great, PVR’s renovation felt classic and plastic at the same time. When you visit there you’ll notice. The space feels spacious, the floor feels all plastic (courtesy the famed vitrified tiles).

Somewhere in the initial pages of Gavin McCrea’s Mrs Engels, there’s this exchange between Jenny and Lizzie, I can’t forget to share.

In her book, there’s naught worse than a new house that looks new. She said so just now before we left. ‘So long as the thirst for novelty exists independently of all aesthetics considerations,’ she went, ‘the aim of Manchester and Sheffield and Birmingham will be to produce objects which shall always appear new. And, Lizzie, is there anything more depressing than that lustre of newness?’

The lustre of newness is depressing indeed on most occasions. And in the case of copy-paste vitrified tiles, plastic too.