For this issue of Stone World, I wrote about an office tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which straddles the city’s business and fashion districts. The buttoned-up, suit-and-tie, corporate world is a far cry from the trendy, and often flashy, atmosphere of high-end designer shops. As a result, the design team had to give quite a bit of consideration to the materials they chose for the building’s entryway and interior lobby. While both districts command a level of sophistication, the design for business professionals needed to be more subdued and traditional compared to a more chic and playful design for shoppers. In the end, a balance was achieved with Marmara marble for the walls and Carrara marble with diagonal stainless insert strips for the floor.

“The location of this office tower is unique because it sits right between the edge of Vancouver’s central business district and its luxury fashion district,” explained lead interior designer Dale Kosowan, BID, RID, Associate of MCM Interiors Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. “We wanted to create something that would have some ‘wow’ factor, yet remain timeless in its design. Marble was the natural choice.”

Writing this article started me thinking how stone — just like clothes — can be characteristic of a person or structure. It can be used to create a specific ambience or image. The striped banding found in the Marmara marble added some interest to the office tower’s lobby design and created the “wow” factor that was desired, yet the gray and white coloring of the stone isn’t overpowering or too bold.

There is an abundance of stone varieties out there to satisfy all tastes. Stone producers around the world are continually in search of new material and investing in machinery to extract it so that it is available to markets globally. In this issue, we take a look at several of the leading stone producers in India. This country is one of many that is rich in a diverse range of granite varieties and exotic stones.

Rama Arts & Exports is an Indian stone producer specializing in semi-precious slabs and customized stonework. The company found its niche because the owner took an interest in gemstones. “My friend gave me a quartz stone with a tourmaline in it,” he said. “I was totally amazed by seeing the two different colors in one rock. We took it to the gemologist and found that it was a pink tourmaline with quartz and from then on, my passion towards gemstones started taking off.” More can be learned about the company beginning on page 52.

Tab India is another recognized stone producer from India. Through the years, the company has invested heavily in its quarrying and fabrication operations. “We are buying the latest generation of machines, without cutting corners of investment,” said Sumit Gupta, co-founder of the business with his brother Amit Gupta. Tab has supplied a range of material for projects worldwide. To read more about Tab’s operation, turn to page 42.

With the seemingly limitless supply of stone varieties found both domestically and internationally, there is a stone to meet pretty much any design style. It just depends what mood or room personality is looking to be created.