Natural Stones of Spain

Natural Stones of Spain Episode 2: Durability & Usage

Kevin Moses

Episode 2: Durability & Usage

Stone Durability

According to Bell (1993), the durability of a building stone is a measure of its ability to resist weathering and therefore retain its original size, shape and strength and appearance over an extensive period of time. As-built heritage materials resist decay differently, special attention is needed if constructions are intended to last for long periods of time. The specific resistant characteristic of each type of stone is determined by its petrophysical properties such as Density, Water absorption, Porosity accessible to water/Hg percentage, percentage of Microporosity etc.


The Spain Houses

Traditionally, Spanish homes were built with adobe or mud-brick which is durable and also extremely heavy. These houses have red-tiled roofs and clean stucco walls.

Monterey, Mission style, Moorish are the terms used for building styles in Spain.

Stones of Spain

(Spanish - Moorish Architecture)

The Roofs

The iconic barrel roof tiles are typically found in earthy and warm colours. Traditionally, these roofs were made from terracotta clay and slate due to their ability to withstand intense heat. Terracotta and slate roofs remain exceptionally durable, equivalent to these days concrete ones, with an added advantage of being environment friendly.

Stones of Spain

(Spanish - Slate Roof House)

The Stucco walls

The clean and sturdy walls support the red tile roof. The walls cover other materials of building from natural elements, which are often in white and creamy columns.

Stones of Spain

(The Stucco Walls of Spanish House)

Wood Support Beams

It is an exposure of wooden beam support with a farmhouse style. It is a key element in Spanish architecture. These wooden beams support the roof.

Simple Embellishments

It is the controlled use of ornamentation. They adorn the large expanses of exterior walls.

Arches and Curves

Spanish homes are rectilinear in nature due to the common practice of adding to existing structures. Spanish design elements highlight arches and curves. Smooth archway entryways, cylindrical turrets are all common practices.

Other Elements of Spanish Architecture

Arcades, Courtyards and Patios, Ornamental ironwork, Balconies, Tower Chimneys are the other elements of Spain’s architecture.