Natural stone is generally considered to be an extremely resistant and durable building material. Under the natural effects of weathering, natural stone unfolds its self-cleaning effect and gains a characteristic patina. For this purpose, paved surfaces, floor slabs and street furniture can still look as they did on the first day, even after decades, if properly cleaned and cared for. While the service life of concrete is estimated at around 30 years and that of asphalted surfaces at around 15 years, the average life expectancy of hard stone such as granite or basalt is well over a century. Natural stone is thus one of the most durable and thus also one of the most sustainable building materials of all.
BESCO Berliner Steincontor GmbH has been supplying public projects with belgrano® natural stone for 20 years. Pedestrian zones, market and city squares, green and parking areas as well as numerous seating, special and water elements have been co-designed in the course of the company’s history and show the variety of colors and shapes of the naturally occurring material. “Our claim is to realize the project ideas of planners and builders in a sustainable and characterful way, bringing a piece of nature back into people’s everyday urban lives,” says Frank Dickmann, managing director at BESCO. “Of course, the high quality standards of our work are also central to this. Neither a marketplace nor a park should have to be planned anew every ten years.” To meet this standard, we regularly visit completed projects. Together with you, we would like to take a closer look at three of these projects, which were completed more than ten years ago, and use current photographs as proof of the longevity of belgrano® natural stone.
The market square in Halle
The first project we would like to present is also the oldest of those presented here – the market square in Halle was delivered in 2004. After the reconstruction of the so-called Red Tower was removed and the streetcar lines could be relocated as a result, nothing prevented the redesign of the market square in Halle. Rehwaldt landscape architects planned an optimization of the urban space. While an additional public transport stop was to be accommodated here, great importance was also attached to its use as a market area. Therefore, a robust material was chosen for the benefit of the planned multifunctional usable surface. The choice fell on dark belgrano® basanite and diorite for floor slabs, curbs, pavers, fountains and special elements.
The Airport Plaza at Hamburg Airport
The second project we would like to mention is the Airport Plaza at Hamburg Airport. The new construction of Terminals 1 and 2 in 1993 and 2005 preceded the completion of the Plaza. Finally, in November 2008, the Plaza was completed by gmp architects with retail space, lounge areas and catering facilities on various levels. A special feature of the belgrano® floor tiles and stair coverings selected here is their finishing. The captivating red granite was to be polished. However, to ensure the necessary slip resistance, all the stones supplied were treated with a special LaserGrip® technology. Thus, both the selection of an extremely high-quality material and the new appearance of the airport contributed to providing the city of Hamburg with a first-class terminal complex.
The redesign of the upper suburb in Albstadt Ebingen
The aim of the redesign of the upper suburb in Albstadt Ebingen was to give the entire town center a uniform appearance. When selecting the ground material, it was decided to use yellowish-brownish granite. The stone formats were to vary. The landscape architects at Planstatt Senner specified a minimalist design language and implemented the project’s requirements using high-quality and robust belgrano® natural stone. A small basalt paving set into the ground and a special lighting concept now remind us of the course of the historic city wall.
All the projects presented here share one thing in common: the belgrano® natural stone used is just as robust, hard-wearing and unique today as it was then. It makes no difference how many people have walked over it or how much sun, rain, snow, hail and frost it has been exposed to. We are confident that future images will resemble past images.
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