Founded in 1874 by renowned American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott (SBRA) is one of the oldest continuously practicing architectural firms in the nation and the oldest in Boston, MA. Today, the national design practice, which provides architecture, planning and interior design services to the education, healthcare, science, corporate and public markets, has grown to include more than 200 members. The firm's work spans across the U.S. as well as in parts of South America, Chile and the United Kingdom.
Recently, I had the opportunity to join a delegation of architects from North America on a tour of some basalt and travertine quarries in the Latium Region of Italy. The trip was sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission, and offered the architects Continuing Education Credits.
With offices in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership (ZGF) is a 400-person firm nationally recognized for its broad-based design practice. Current clients include a broad range of corporate, institutional, government, civic and health care entities, and it works on projects throughout the country. The firm has been recognized with more than 300 design awards, including the Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor given to a firm by the American Institute of Architects, and a Presidential Design Award.
The use of stone in architecture dates back centuries - in Europe as well as here in the U.S. Always considered a sign of strength and durability, the material was utilized substantially in construction years ago - forming some of our most notable landmarks. Of course after hundreds of years, Mother Nature has taken its toll. But with skilled restoration and preservation crews, these buildings are being rejuvenated, and will continue to stand for many centuries to come.
Today's architects and designers are finding that the use of stone and tile in residential applications can go well beyond kitchens and bathrooms, as they can meet both aesthetic and practical needs within living areas
While mosaics have remained a popular choice in design for generations, the product lines themselves have evolved tremendously in recent years. Using tiny pieces of stone and tile to create intricately detailed patterns and motifs, advances in technology have stepped up the level of sophistication in mosaic design. Not only are the designs capable of being more elaborate, but the range of materials used to make mosaic tiles has increased as well.