Engineer Steve Webb and stonemason Pierre Bidaud began a partnership in 2009 to radically rethink the possibilities of stone in contemporary construction. Their research demonstrates that structural stone can substantially reduce embodied energy in built form, and their collaborations with a variety of architects have produced striking buildings that recover and amplify the potential of stone as a primary building material.

In “From Field to Form: Stone,” Webb and Bidaud discussed their evolving research and showed examples of their work.

In 2022, Webb and Bidaud debuted Equanimity—an 11-meter-long post-tensioned stone beam—at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. The Equanimity beam and elements of The New Stone Age, an exhibition co-curated at the Building Centre by Webb, Bidaud, and architect Amin Taha, will be on display through May 4, 2023 at ABC Stone’s facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, where “From Field to Form: Stone” took place.

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Pierre Bidaud is the creative director of The Stonemasonry Company. He has been a stonemason for over 30 years.

Steve Webb is the cofounder and director of Webb Yates Engineers, a multidisciplinary engineering practice with offices in London and Birmingham. In 2020 Webb was awarded the Milne Medal, given to an individual engineer for excellence in structural design by The Institution of Structural Engineers.

Following their presentations, Bidaud and Webb were joined for discussion by Jonah Wurzer-Kinsler, a partner at Franken-Schotter GmbH & Co, Germany’s largest producer of limestone and an environmental leader in the stone industry.

The discussion was moderated by structural engineer Nat Oppenheimer, senior vice president of Silman and a member of the board of directors of The Architectural League.