Episode 1: Evolution of Stones in Construction
Spain has given place to many varieties of natural stones in the past, which of course has added to its heritage and culture. The proximity factors of geological resources decided the usage of stones for construction in Spain in the past, current technological advancements in the stone industry in Spain drastically increased the usage of natural and engineered stones.
Flint is a natural stone available locally in Spain and this particular stone material was the primary used as building material between the 9th to 11th centuries.
Then came the invasion of dolostone which occupied the construction industry till the 17th century.
(Flint - Natural stone of Spain)
After the 17th century the Guadarrama Mountain range’s large reserves of granite came to usage. Granite was mainly quarried in the Alpedrete area. Granite stones are traditionally called Berroque in Spain.
(Granite Formation - Guadarrama Mountain range)
Limestone, which is known as Colmenav stone together with Berroque, became one of Madrid’s traditional building stones. They are used to till today for their durability.
(Limestone Quarry in Spain)
Alpedrete Monzogranite, Zarzalejo Monzogranite, Reduefia Dolostone, Torrelaguna Dolostone, Colmenar Limestone, Flint, and Bernardos slate are the stones of Spain to reign over the industry.
Times prior to the Industrial Revolution and the rise of technocratic criteria, the aesthetic features of stones, primarily the colour became value factors. The preferred colour of stones happened to vary over time with fashion and with tastes of builders and architects.
The aesthetic looks and the perception of the values of buildings in cities were defined by the traditional stones. In Spain, usage of stones in cities vary because of changing aesthetic values, workability, inland transport connections and fuller understanding of material behaviour, decay.
Spain opened its first railway in the middle of the nineteenth century and new construction stones began to flow in from other regions of Spain and from other countries.
The region of Madrid has two groups of materials, distinguished as
- The igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Guadarrama Mountains in the north and north-west, that provides the widest varieties of granite, slate and porphyry;
- The sedimentary rocks, comprising Cretaceous limestones and Dolostone in the north, Miocene limestones in the south east and Flint near the city of Menduina.