Natural Stone Journal

2024

Project Role: Contributor

Project Category: Publication

In the summer of 2023, Tom Randall-Page and I directed the AA Visiting School Working Stone.

Stone has been central to architecture for as long as we have archaeological records. However, in the past century, it has been largely relegated from its former position as primary structure to a lesser role as a surface finish as cladding or paving over concrete and steel skeletons. Even though the AA has excellent workshops for fabricating in timber and metal and casting in concrete, it has no facilities for working with stone. The Visiting School aimed to address these issues by offering students an opportunity to undertake a design brief for a bus shelter made out of stone. Students gained a familiarity with stone masonry tools and processes by being immersed within a fully equipped workshop for the duration of the project.

The bus stop is practical and coherent, while incorporating distinctive features encountered by chance and through the students’ discerning arrangement. We hope now that, subject to gaining planning permission and raising funds to cover installation costs, we will be able to permanently install the shelter in its intended site for people waiting for the bus in Purbeck to enjoy for years to come.

The work of the visiting school has been featured in The Stone Federation of Great Britain’s Natural Stone Journal.