Posted: 22 Apr, 2015
A most interesting scheme‚ well thought through. The starting point was the client’s wish for the paving to look like the old Yorkstone in the town centre. However‚ this Yorkstone had been laid using reclaimed materials and‚ in today’s climate‚ would be ragarded as too uneven to be acceptable.
It is never possible to relay old material to the evenness that it had when laid originally‚ one simply cannot lay the pieces so that the wear at the edge of one happens to match the wear on the one next to it‚ leading to the potential for trip hazards. The lovely aspect of the Yorkstone that was already there is its colour variability and this was what the client desired.
New sawn Yorkstone‚ especially the more buff coloured types‚ will wear and acquire their own patina over not too many years‚ so it is our normal advice in the high street to use new sawn material and wait for it to look old. It will be safe and flat and‚ in due course‚ will look old and‚ when it does‚ it will look as though it has been there for ages. But to get more colour variation‚ it was agreed that we should supply a mix of three Yorkstones‚ one buff and two that were buff/light grey mixtures‚ all stones which would compliment each other but weather and wear slightly differently.
It was such a good idea that we have now supplied several contracts using the same principles. There are other benefits‚ too. Firstly if‚ in years to come‚ repairs are needed‚ it will not matter if one of the stones is unavailable and secondly the mix of colours does a lot to hide dirt and stains. It does not eliminate them but makes them less obvious.
A particularly lovely design detail was the change to small units in front of the very pretty pub. It gave this building a plinth and thus a presence. We should consider doing this more often. Sometimes‚ the paving should be the focus‚ but at other times it is there to provide a backdrop to the buildings and relate to them.
Purbeck limestone has been used locally around the cathedral and it was introduced into the paving layout as a link to the local history. Purbeck is an attractive light-coloured stone which‚ if supplied from the appropriate beds and unlike limestones in general‚ is not frost susceptible. It is a very porous stone and‚ in theory‚ should not survive but it does.
The tactile paving was laid in a lovely red granite which provides the necessary contrast to the Yorkstone but does not spoil the visual appearance. The whole was finished with a long granite bench and some black granite setts. Altogether‚ a pleasure to be involved with such good design and implementation.
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