Natural Stone Permeable Paving System

Posted on July 23rd, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Permeable pavement systems are getting a lot of attention and are becoming a part of construction codes in many areas recognizing the need for innovative stormwater management measures.


The primary purpose in the design of a permeable paving system is to effectively reduce and manage the quantity of surface rain water runoff while accommodating pedestrians, vehicular parking and traffic. A full filtration system designed for permeable subsurface soils should allow the storm water to penetrate the surface and filter through the base course and the native soils back into the aquifers while promoting tree and plant survival by providing air and water to the roots.

If the capacity of the soil to filtrate the water is exceeded, the base may be designed to filter, partially treat and slowly release the water into a storm sewer.

The benefits include a more beautiful, user friendly … Read More »

Porphyry Stone Among Incredible Art

Posted on September 22nd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry in this installation is paired with other beautiful stones and mosaics for an amazing experience.  When I have visited other Porphyry installations, the Porphyry is the prominent feature.  At this beautiful church, the Porphyry shares the spotlight with stone carvings, stone and glass mosaics, frescoes and a one of a kind pipe organ. 

The church overlooks Rock Harbor near Orleans, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. The main building material cladding is Kasota limestone or simply, ‘Kasota stone’.  It is a dolomitic limestone found in southern Minnesota This sedimentary rock is part of the Oneota Dolostone Formation of southern Minnesota and is approximately 450 million years old. This particular limestone is rich in dolomite and magnesium  making it resistant to weathering, and

it is thus widely used as a building material. Its name is taken from Kasota  township where the stone has been quarried. This is the same stone that … Read More »

Porphyry Paving – The Financial Value

Posted on September 11th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The tradition of stone paving with stones like Porphyry is centuries old.  Most of our stone knowledge comes from the European quarries and stonemasons.  This blog presents research involving the paving and hardscape designs with natural stone. So much of this research emanates from Europe and the United Kingdom.  Part of this is because of the preservation activities and the rest is due to new installations of the age-old material.

The publication, Paved with gold – The Real Value of Good Street Design, produced by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) demonstrates how street quality relates to higher real estate prices and higher retail rental rates.


Paved with gold shows how we can calculate the extra financial value that good street design contributes, over average or poor design. It shows how clear financial benefits can be calculated from investing … Read More »

Porphyry Paving – Overlapping Arcs

Posted on September 7th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving cubes for use in an overlapping arc pattern is one of the oldest designs for stone pavement.  It has continued in use for centuries due to its stability, beauty and pleasing intricacy. 

In Europe, one of the more popular layouts is the bogen also known as an overlapping arc, which is often mistaken for a fan but is actually a series of stacked arcs.  The bogen layout is complex and requires the skills of an experienced artisan as the setts at the ends of the arcs, where one arc meets its neighbor, need to be somewhat smaller than those in the center of each arc.

Traditionally, bogens are incredibly strong layouts as the arcs work to dissipate forces over a much larger area. Their development and use reached a peak when horse-drawn traffic dominated the streets, but since the advent of modern … Read More »

GftK Jointing Mortar Installation Video

Posted on September 2nd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

GftK jointing mortar can be used in streets, public plaza’s, market squares, commercial developments, parking areas, pedestrian areas and for all types of garden patios and landscaping projects.  You select and specify the GftK product that fits your project, traffic load, and permeability situation. The advanced GftK Pavement Jointing Mortars are engineered and produced in Germany.  GftK mortars are the clear technology and market leaders for high performance and high efficiency paving jointing and pointing.

This video shows how to grout a stone sett circle in a decorative driveway paving project at a private residential project in Holmes Chappel, Cheshire UK. The new feature driveway, turning areas, parking and car washing areas, plus patios, have all been laid in Natural Granite Stone Setts and Riven Granite and Sandstone Flags. The Paving jointing for all of these areas is completed quickly and … Read More »

Porphyry Paving with Smolleri

Posted on August 25th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving with  Smolleri or “Slabs on Edge” is traditionally used  for paving surfaces on steep slopes as they present the maximum roughness and the natural split surface is used as a decking for grip.  Smolleri are ideal for the paving of roundabouts and other high stress traffic situations. 

Smolleri can add textural variation to  contemporary paving schemes and can also be used for vertical cladding of walls (both inside and outside).  The sides have a natural surface variation in widths (in plan) of between 60mm to 130mm.  Depths range from 30-70mm. Lengths can be random or cut to size.


From The Porphyry Manual:

“In the 20’s and 30’s coarse tiles or “smolleri” began to be used to pave sloping surfaces in many mountain villages in Trentino, Italy.and also in Lombardy and in Veneto. They are little slabs of porphyry, in the past they were very thin, now of variable thickness … Read More »

GftK Pavement Jointing Mortar Best Choice

Posted on August 18th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

GftK’s vdw 850 jointing mortar was selected for a sensitive project in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.  The old Market square project presented various challenges to dealing with the 750 sq. meter area of time worn granite and basalt setts.  Weather and disruption of business were among the many. Re-jointing was specified over re-laying and Vdw 850 was selected over several possible materials.  Gftk’s vdw 850, is the product for light traffic and sidewalks.  This has a medium permeability rate of 2 quarts / min/ 10 sf at 20% joints. Its compressive strength is 3,625 psi at 20% joints. (High performance for medium traffic)

Thanks to Tony McCormack of the and NCC Streetscapes, this video shows the preparation and techniques in rejointing an existing small format streetscape. The product is GftK’s vdw 850 self compacting epoxy resin jointing mortar. The paving contractor was RPB Ltd. Of Letchworth

Click … Read More »

Porphyry Pavers used in Park on Malta

Posted on August 13th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry pavers, both cut tiles and 8/10cm cubes, were used in this park on the island of Malta.  This was a new project designed be Architect Anne Casha working with the Malta Environment & Public Authority who decided to provide its people with a new park, creating it out of a rocky area along the coast. Porphyry was used to create a fresh relaxing space for families which is also ideal for strolls and admiring the waves crashing along the coast. The project used 8/10 cubes and split tiles to bring out the very best in the area and give it some color which is brought out even more by the splendid sunlight on the island.  Porphyry made it possible to create real pedestrian walkways which are safe and resistant – over time – to both the sea salt and … Read More »

Porphyry – Integrating Stone and Water

Posted on August 6th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The notebook from Pierres et Marbres called Stone in the Garden – Water 06 is a beautiful treatise on the design of the landscape.  The projects presented in this notebook illustrate some of the natural and contemporary ways of integrating stone and water into a garden and the spiritual enrichment with stones like Porphyry.  Stone is at the border between nature and today’s building materials, linking sky and water.  There is even a cobblestone beach among the designs.  Porphyry cubes like Patagonia Storm Grey could be used in this design.

Another in the fabulous Stone Notebooks series is available here. This 20 page delight is full of design commentary, drawings in plan view and section, and multiple photographs of selected projects.  

The Notebook can be downloaded here:

From the Notebook:

“For 20 years, PIERRES  et MARBRES de WALLONIE has been disseminating accurate and … Read More »

Jointing Mortar for Porphyry Cubes

Posted on July 22nd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

There is a jointing product designed for those closed or tight joints that are especially desirable in designs for Porphyry Cubes.  Vdw 805 from GftK is a high performance jointing mortar for narrow joints (> 3mm) in small format natural stone paving. This jointing material is appropriate for light to medium traffic loads, such as patios, footpaths, driveways.

GftK is the clear European market and technology leader in Pavement Jointing Mortars for use with all types of natural stone and quality concrete block paving – for both new work and refurbishment projects. The product range includes systems for all different sizes of joint and all different traffic loads – from patios to commercial pedestrian areas, to paved areas with occasional light to heavy vehicles, plus heavy vehicle turning, unloading and hard standing areas. The GftK Jointing Mortars are all produced in Germany, … Read More »

Seonyudo Park uses Stone Cubes

Posted on July 15th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Stones like Porphyry stone cubes are used to create an amazing landscape artform that serves as a children’s water playground.  It has been described as rows of stone tiles on a sand dune.  The installation is part of the award winning Soenyudo Park in Seoul, South Korea. 

Seonyudo Park was made utilizing the previous filtration plant on Seonyu-do (island) in the Han River to become Korea’s first recycling ecological park and opened on April 26, 2002. Within Seonyudo Park, there are many high and low roads, each leading to differently themed areas, including Han River History Building, water quality purification park, time park, and water play facility. natural processes are now used to clean the water. Each basin contains different plant species that can be seen from low-lying walkways, allowing children and adults to enjoy the plant life in close proximity. The … Read More »

Porphyry Paving by the Book

Posted on July 8th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

 When we look at a finished residential Porphyry paving project, we are taken with the beauty and symmetry of the finished project. Back up for a moment and think of the design process, the selection of material, the estimating, the grading, the drainage decisions, the layers of material we no longer see, and you will be taking a walk through this very well done book. Take a look at the same project in 5 years or 10 years and you will appreciate all the parts of the process that are done correctly.  The book, Driveways, Paths and Patios – A Complete Guide to Design, Management and Construction by AJ McCormack Jr. is a comprehensive guide to residential paving for doing the work yourself or having a credible discussion with your contractor.

Written by an expert with over 30 years’ experience in hardscaping, … Read More »

City Park Featuring Porphyry Honored

Posted on July 1st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry Paving is Prominent Element

Porphyry paving along with many additional amenities and design elements in Cincinnati’s Washington Park are recognized by a national organization. Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes a “Frontline Park” to promote and highlight inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation, and stewardship across the country. The program also seeks to highlight examples of the challenges facing our cities’ parks as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures, and urban neighborhood decay. The Frontline Park of the Month for June was Washington Park.  Porphyry paving material was supplied by Milestone Imports.


City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks.  It unites and serves a growing network of hundreds of civic and community leaders, government agencies, parks and recreation authorities, and others.

City Parks Alliance was established in the … Read More »

Porphyry’s role in Living Streets

Posted on June 23rd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry and other natural stone products are seen throughout this report, used as specialized paving elements.  Most of the concepts here revolve around traffic calming and storm water management embracing the multiple users of our streets, not just motorized vehicles.

“Living streets have no separate sidewalks or curbs and gutters, but rather provide a shared space that is safe and accessible for pedestrians, wheelchairs, cyclists and low-speed vehicles. They also allow for integrated percolation and drainage through cen­terline drainage, landscaping and the use of porous paving materials.” According to the report

To keep traffic speeds low enough to make it safe for pedestrians and children, traffic calming mea­sures are designed to cover the entire street cross-section. These measures include the use of special paving materials, tree plantings, the arrangement of vehicle parking, vertical shifts such as raised intersections, road narrowings at entrance … Read More »

vdw 850 Paving Jointing Mortar ideal for Town Center Porphyry

Posted on June 17th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

High performance vdw 850 paving jointing mortar from German manufacturer GftK was used in the streetscape design for a Scottish town center. The paving of Main Street and its surrounding areas in the Bellshill Town Centre redevelopment for North Lanarkshire Council, included Porphyry Granite Setts, Caithness Stone and Grey Granite edging blocks. These have all been laid by RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd. of Glasgow, using the unique vdw 850 Paving Jointing Mortar obtained in the UK and Ireland from NCC Streetscapes.  In the United States the specialty jointing mortar products from GftK are available from Stone Paving Technologies.

5,000 square feet of Natural Porphyry Granite Setts plus Grey Granite Edging Blocks and Setts have been used for the entrance areas to local businesses and other areas in the Bellshill Town Centre.  RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd of Glasgow undertook the paving successfully … Read More »

Porphyry Paving and Great Places

Posted on June 9th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving and other paving stones have been designed into the unique and special paving materials called for in the creation of great new places or the refurbishment of existing places.

Discussions, plans, and designs for “Great Streets” are popping up everywhere, and the universal concepts are about pedestrian oriented space, an economically viable mix of businesses and hoped for 24/7 activity. Halifax, Nova Scotia and its Argyle Street are no different.  With a city that encounters freeze/thaw cycles and snow removal a paving stone with the qualities of Porphyry is one that has to be considered.

As the heart of one of the most vibrant entertainment districts on the east coast, Argyle Street has the potential to be one of Canada’s great streets, and a model for how people-oriented downtown’s are designed and developed.Halifax’s Downtown Plan identifies the configuration of streets such … Read More »

Porphyry Cubes used in Modern Roman Paving

Posted on June 3rd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry cubes were used in a large urban project in Rome.  The Piazza dei Navigatori is a Roman square located along Via Cristoforo Colombo, one of the main roads in the city of Rome because of its size, its role as a link between the city center and the sea and its importance to the city. The objective pursued during the work was to redefine all the gardens, the pedestrian area and a whole series of other operations. Reworking this area to prepare for development involved new circulation of existing roadways in order to accommodate vehicular traffic and pedestrians and reimagine the landscape. The commercial/hotel project shown here was part of the overall development.

Porphyry cubes are cube-like shaped paving elements obtained by means of mechanical splitting, with natural surface.  Cubes are made in different sizes on the basis of the … Read More »

GftK Paving Mortars Save Time and Money

Posted on May 27th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The scheduled opening in March 2009 was fast approaching, and the February weather was cold and wet – totally unsuitable for pointing with cement based materials. However the contractor solved the problem by using GftK Epoxy Resin Pavement Jointing Mortars that enabled the work to continue whatever the weather, plus the majority of the joints were actually pointed by a team of only three men in a SINGLE DAY. While the cost of the GftK Jointing Mortar was substantially higher than sand and cement, the labor savings alone meant that the jointing costs were almost equivalent; with the incredibly fast application speed of GftK materials also allowing completion on time for the opening, saving precious schedules and financial commitments.

The paving at the Arc mixed use development in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk includes 850m2 of 100 x 100 x 80mm granite … Read More »

The Economic Value of Porphyry Paving

Posted on May 19th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Unique and beautiful material like Porphyry paving can have a major benefit to a project. Remarkable materials and incredible designs create a high economic value and return on investment and return on perception. A recent report clarifies the extent that this has happened for Chicago’s Millennium Park.

This report is based on the book Urban Design and the Bottom Line: Optimizing the Return on Perception, published by ULI and authored by Dennis Jerke, and on the methodology applied in the Master of Science in Land Development program at Texas A&M University. The results are based on thorough research, credible sources, data analysis and conclusions for the four categories of quadruple net value (social/cultural, economic, environmental and sensory). The two Texas A&M University graduate students in the Land Development Program and the two students from the Department of Real Estate at DePaul … Read More »

Porphyry Paving and Toronto Woonerf Design Innovations

Posted on May 12th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Stone paving like Porphyry is an element of hardscape used in a woonerf. The first of many opportunities to use the concept of a woonerf is happening in one of the multi faceted areas under the influence of Waterfront Toronto. This area is called the West Dons Land, one of the six main areas of development. The use of stone paving is prevalent in current designs throughout all the areas.

Woonerfs – an innovative street design – will be used for some of the area’s local interior streets. Woonerfs, or living streets, are pedestrian-oriented roads that blur the boundary between sidewalk and street and provide a common public space shared by pedestrians, cyclists and low-speed motor vehicles. Commonly found in Europe and elsewhere, the West Don Lands is the first place they will be used in Toronto.

If all goes well, woonerfs … Read More »

Porphyry and Widemarsh Street

Posted on May 6th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Granite curbs and porphyry setts have been used to establish a low-speed, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environment intended to boost the attractiveness and economic prosperity of this key shopping street.

Widemarsh Street in Hereford, England has been rebuilt to designs by Hamilton-Baillie Associates, working with Powell Dobson Urbanists, Anthony Jellard Associates and Amey. The project involved repaving the whole length of this prime retail street to the north of the city center. Completed on time and budget in December 2010, the street represents the standards and design principles set out in the Hereford Streetscape Strategy. The project has been shortlisted for the 2011 Local Government News awards.

Widemarsh Street was both a key vehicle entrance into Herefordtown center and one of the busiest retail streets in the town center, lined with local independent traders. The layout favored vehicular traffic at the expense of … Read More »

Heavy traffic paving with Porphyry stone

Posted on April 22nd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Protecting and extending the life of paved surfaces like those with porphyry stone, the jointing product vdw 855 is utilized. Vdw 855, manufactured by GftK, is commonly used on stone and manufactured paver streets.  This product is well known for its years of extremely low maintenance cost in all conditions.  It has a very low permeability rate of approximately 2 cups per minute per 10 sf at 20% joints.  It has a very high compressive strength of 6,500 psi. (high performance for heavy traffic loads)

Case Study with vdw 855

Leading to the historic St Marys Church at Hitchin in Hertfordshire is the equally historic Church Road, with many listed buildings that are now home to popular shops, pubs and restaurants. As a result it is subject to frequent pedestrian and vehicle traffic, including heavy delivery trucks and brewery drays. 

Hertfordshire Highways and … Read More »

Porphyry and the value of distinctive paving materials

Posted on April 14th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Stone pavers like porphyry and its more expensive granite cousin are being designed into numerous places in Toronto.  This blog has previously highlighted the wonderful designs and work by WaterFront Toronto, now the nearby entertainment district is re-imagining one of their main streets. Distinctive paving materials and patterns are a necessary part of the project recommendations as well as a continuous “mountable” curb. The curb, on both sides of the street will enable a seamless transition into a pedestrian-only space for events.

Excerpts from the EA Study – John Street Corridor Improvement

In recent years, there has been growing recognition of John Street’s potential for Toronto including its designation as one of four streets that are ‘Cultural Corridors’ (City of Toronto, ‘Canada’s Urban Waterfront: Waterfront Culture and Heritage Infrastructure Plan’, 2001) and within an area identified as the ‘Avenue of the Arts’ … Read More »

Porphyry and Living Streets

Posted on April 8th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone surfaces on sidewalks, streets and plazas create memorable and enchanting environments. Stone is prominent in our most cherished streets worldwide. They were developed before the age of the automobile.  These historic and human scaled streets invite people to spend time there. Today, society is moving toward a more sustainable way of life, with cities everywhere aspiring to become high-quality places to live, work, and play. Streets are fundamental to this shift. They define our system of movement; create connections between places, and offer opportunities to reconnect to natural systems. There is an increasing realization that the right-of-way is a critical and under-recognized resource for transformation, with new models being tested to create a better public realm, support balanced transportation options, and provide sustainable solutions for stormwater and landscaping. The book – Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space … Read More »

Porphyry and Curbless Streets – Part 3

Posted on March 31st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving can be a functional stormwater amenity as well as an aesthetic enhancement, when designed as permeable porphyry paving. This is accomplished with a high performance jointing mortar that is also permeable, vdw 800 by GftK.  In the examples of curbless streets in recent blogs, the main stormwater design depends on sheet flow to move water to a landscape feature or a berm where infiltration takes place.  By using a new high performance grout with the pavers, the entire installation can be permeable.


First and foremost, permeable paving goes against everything we’ve ever learned about modular paving. In the past, paving was done in such a way that water runs right off it. However, with permeable paving we want the water to go through it. Another thing about permeable paving is that the materials used for all key elements of … Read More »

Porphyry and Curbless Streets – Part 2

Posted on March 24th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone pavers can be used on pedestrian surfaces, vehicle surfaces, as well as transition areas. This beautiful and sturdy stone will make any of these memorable. Special paving treatments can enhance the aesthetics of public spaces in a city, give circulation areas a stronger sense of place, and enhance the hierarchy of public spaces. 

In new street design, typically the decision to have curbed or uncurbed streets depends on the street’s desired traffic capacity and speed. In general, the higher the traffic speed and the less pedestrian-oriented the street is, the more likely that it will require a raised curbed street edge. Conversely, streets that have slower traffic and are more pedestrian friendly are good candidates for a curbless condition. Even commercial streets with on-street parking can be designed as curbless streets if there is enough right-of-way space and traffic … Read More »

Porphyry and Curbless Streets – Part 1

Posted on March 19th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

This first in a series of three blogs about paved streets, public spaces and sidewalks where the street design incorporates curbless streets.  This discussion explores the concept first created in the Netherlands, a woonerf.  Porphyry and other stone pavers figure prominently in these designs.

So what is a woonerf exactly? Picture a regular street, but narrow, minus a curb, finished with pavers instead of asphalt. Developed by Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman, a woonerf is a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists as implemented in the Netherlands and in Flanders. Techniques include shared space, traffic calming and low speeds. This concept goes by a number of other names, such as Living Streets and Complete Streets in the USA, and Home Zones in the UK.

Woonerf History

In the late 1960’s in the city of Delft, The Netherlands, motor vehicle … Read More »

Porphyry in the Vatican

Posted on March 11th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry pavers in various sizes are used now to improve the surfaces of all hardscape projects. Once, there was a more decorative use for porphyry in the interior. Rome and especially the Vatican are filled with imperial porphyry. The museums, churches and chapels of Vatican City have more imperial porphyry as sculpture and decoration than anywhere else. The Imperial Porphyry found here came from a single mine in Egypt, the Mons Porphyrites.  It was imported by the Romans as a decorative accent stone, for use in tiled floors, as colored columns, or occasionally carved into a vase or sculpture.  Its color invokes Royal Purple.

Porphyry is extremely hard, also dense and heavy.  Even lifting a substantial hunk of porphyry is a great feat, let alone transporting it by ship from Egypt.  It is also so hard that it takes very strong, … Read More »

Porphyry Pavers and GftK High Performance Jointing Mortars

Posted on March 4th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Breakthrough high performance jointing mortars coupled with Porphyry stone paving products provides the strength, beauty and durability needed for commercial applications. The following project shows how these were used together in the Newark Market  Square in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Since 1999, Newark District Council has been undertaking an improvement program to the medieval market square using 100mm Porphyry stone setts laid in a traditional bogen (overlapping arcs) pattern. The square still stages open air markets and other activities on at least 6 days a week, and the area is used by delivery vehicles, as well as normal traffic, all of which can leave a bit of a mess. Consequently, regular machine cleaning has to be undertaken, which imposes yet another stress to the pavement.

Some months ago, the Council identified GftK mortars from NCC Streetscape as a possible solution to all of these problems … Read More »

Resurgence in the use of paving stones

Posted on February 28th, by Miles Chaffee in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving stones and cobblestones have been used globally for millennia in streets and roadways because of their durable nature. In theUnited States stone paving represented growth and stability as great cities developed at ocean and river ports through out the country and were used as a stable foundation for commerce. Cobblestone streets, used for centuries in our oldest cities, have with the advent of the automobile been covered over with asphalt or dug up and sold a scrap.

Today you can see resurgence in the use of paving stones through out the country. Urban centers are incorporating stone paving into street designs, parks and commercial centers. Washington Park in Cincinnati,Ohio and the Boiler Maker Shops in Washington,DC are great examples of this.

Porphyry’s composition determines its high compression strength, resistance to stains, slip resistance, and high freeze/thaw ratings.  The stone is … Read More »

Porphyry and Stone Interiors

Posted on February 25th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Natural stone like Porphyry is making a great comeback in homes with a contemporary design. Stone is non polluting, durable, maintainable and sometimes more affordable than in the past and appeals to designers and project owners alike, attracted by stone’s timeliness.

Another in the fabulous Stone Notebooks series, devoted to Stone and Architecture – Interiors is available here. This 20 page delight is full of design commentary, drawings in plan view and section, and multiple photographs of selected projects. They have been chosen by the creator of this series, Pierres & Marbres Wallonie, for their originality or their classicism, their simplicity or a specific construction detail. 

Download the Guide


Natural stone is a material well suited to its time. It is authentic and conjures up the diversity of the mineral world and, in a certain way, the richness of nature. Because it is never quite … Read More »

Will New Projects use Porphyry?

Posted on February 18th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Three new projects have been awarded to design teams with congratulations.  In each case, the use of Porphyry paving surfaces would enhance them. This stone of memories would serve all of them well.

Kennedy Center-Plaza Project

Steven Holl Architects have been selected to design a new, 60,000 square foot addition to the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. The $100 million project, which will be lead by Steven Holl and senior partner Chris McVoy, is envisioned as three connected pavilions clad in translucent Okalux, glass, and Carrara marble, the material used on the original 1970s building designed by famed American architect Edward Durrell Stone.

Located mostly below grade on the south side of the existing facility, the protruding structures will be embedded within a lush landscape of public gardens. To the west, one pavilion will extend over the … Read More »

Porphyry Pavement and High Performance Jointing Mortars

Posted on February 10th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

High-performance mortars from German market-leader, GftK are coming to the US.  GftK is the clear European market and technology leader in Pavement Jointing Mortars for use with all types of natural stone and quality concrete block paving – for both new work and refurbishment projects.

The product range includes systems for all different sizes of joint and all different traffic loads – from patios to commercial pedestrian areas, to paved areas with occasional light to heavy vehicles, plus heavy vehicle turning, unloading and hard standing areas.

The GftK Jointing Mortars are all produced in Germany, fully in accordance with ISO 9001 / ISO 14001. The GftK range includes paving jointing mortars that are ideal for garden patios and pathways, driveways and car parking areas, town center streets and pavements, commercial developments, historic market squares, and in a variety of shades to suit … Read More »

Porphyry Pavers and Buchanan Street

Posted on February 4th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone has all of the unique beauty and all of the physical properties to create a great commercial street in a challenging climate. To fulfill the design and functional needs of this great street,Scotland’s principal shopping street, and the heart of Glasgow, stone was the easy choice.

Gillespies won an international design competition for one of Glasgow’s central and most famous streets:Buchanan Street.  The firm is a multi-disciplinary design practice, embracing master planning, urban design, landscape design and landscape planning. The project involved the reduction of access to vehicular traffic and the creation of a pedestrian oriented environment.   As well using traditional, robust and durable natural stone paving materials, simple and elegant repetitive elements such as lighting and seating components were employed to create a strong rhythm and pattern along the street.  Utilizing the themes and directions identified in … Read More »

Porphyry paving and the Glasgow Financial District

Posted on January 28th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving was incorporated into this project to give it special status. This project comprehensively refurbished the public realm of six streets and formed an essential part of the Broomielaw area’s renaissance as part of the Glasgow International Financial Services District. Since completion, investment in the area has accelerated and new developments are rapidly coming on-stream.

The design delivered new footways paved with natural stone surfacing in porphyry and granite with Scottish whinstone kerbs. Stainless steel furniture, signage and street lighting complemented the pavements and the surrounding buildings. The distinctive historic character of the Broomielaw’s mercantile / maritime warehouses is reflected in the detailed design of streetscape components and in public art, such as the incorporation of fiber optic star constellations, evoking historic methods of maritime navigation, into the stone paving. The star constellations assist in pedestrian ‘navigation’ around the area … Read More »

Porphyry Cubes and Governors Island

Posted on January 21st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry like paving cubes are used throughout the renderings of this new park designed by a team under West 8, the landscape and urban planning firm.

In the past few years, Governors Island, the former military base in New York Harbor, has become the “it” summer destination for savvy New Yorkers. With free ferry service to the island on weekends, bicycle rentals, art exhibitions, food festivals, music and other cultural programs, Governors Island drew nearly a half-million visitors last year, up from 8,000 visitors in 2005.

A seven-minute ride on a free ferry takes you to this seasonal island sanctuary, a scant 800 yards from lower Manhattan. Thanks to its strategic position in the middle of New York Harbor, Governors Island was a military outpost and off-limits to the public for 200 years. It finally opened to summer visitors in 2006. The … Read More »

Queens Quay remake begins

Posted on January 14th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry like natural stone cobbles and setts are front and center in several of Waterfront Toronto’s projects, adding permanence, beauty and creating a fundamental sense of place. The role of natural stone is evident throughout many of the projects. Granite is used in these, but porphyry could be substituted for the same durable and attractive purpose.

Waterfront Toronto has undertaken a multi-year,  multi-location set of projects to reclaim and enliven the waterfront. Among them is the transformation of Queens Quay. What’s now a messy and dysfunctional downtown thoroughfare will become an elegant street shared equally by cars, public transit, pedestrians, cyclists — and trees. The remake of Queens Quay has been in the works for years, but, says Dutch landscape architect Adriaan Geuze, that’s to be expected. In 2006, Geuze’s firm, West 8, won an international competition to redesign the Central … Read More »

Porphyry Featured in new Diesel Headquarters

Posted on January 7th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone pavers were chosen for the pedestrian walkways and gardens of the new Diesel Headquarters.  It is located in Breganze, a town in the northern Italian province of Vicenza.  Diesel S.p.A. is an Italian design company. It is best known for luxury, ready to wear, clothing aimed at the young adult market. The architect for the project was Studio Ricatti.

The Porphyry paving, in fact, embellishes a traditional environment and also combines in a pleasant manner with the new buildings. Porphyry has been processed and laid with an interpretation of the stone in a modern and highly-advanced context. This project made use of grey color cubes of about 25,000 square feet, laid in straight lines, and cut slabs, also grey, of about 7,000 linear feet.  A play of combinations of material and color which makes it possible to create new effects which … Read More »

Porphyry and New City Spaces

Posted on December 24th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry and other stone pavers are throughout this book about important examples of urban public spaces worldwide. The upsurge in interest in public spaces and public life over the past twenty five years has generated an impressive array of city plans, public space strategies, and designs. This book presents an overview of this development and provides a detailed description of architecturally interesting and inspiring public space strategies and projects from all over the world. Nine cities with notable public space strategies were selected for special review: Barcelona,  Lyon, Strasbourg,  Freiburg,  and Copenhagen in Europe, Portland in North America, Curitiba and Cordoba in South America, and Melbourne in Australia. In addition, thirty nine international public space projects are presented and discussed. Drawings, plans and photographs illustrate city strategies and public space projects in detail.

New City Spaces provides an international perspective on the … Read More »

Porphyry and Urban Streets

Posted on December 18th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

“We go back to some streets more often than to others…
maybe a street unlocks memories or offers expectation of
something pleasant to be seen…streets are places of social
and commercial encounter and exchange…a place to be
comforted by the presence of others.”  – From Great Streets by Allan B Jacobs

Porphyry pavers have been used in the making of memorable streets and places from ancient times to modern day.  A new guide to urban street design is available for local governments to peruse.  It was created by the very transportation officials that are implementing policy.

The National Organization of City Transportation Officials (NATCO), a network of big-city transportation departments, recently released the Urban Street Design Guidebook.  It is available for download here. Please see the full blog post to download this guide.  It has been created in an effort to outline the “21st-century … Read More »

Porphyry and the Color of the Year 2013

Posted on December 10th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving and the green lushness of the landscape go hand in hand. “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum, as it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.”

Get ready for a verdant 2013. Pantone has just declared Emerald (17-5641 on your fandeck) the “lively, radiant” Color of the Year. It’s a jewel-toned follow-up to the tropical shades favored by the color authority in recent years, such as last year’s Tangerine Tango, which was preceded by Honeysuckle, Turquoise, and Mimosa.

“As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate,” said Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman in a statement announcing the pick. “Symbolically, Emerald … Read More »

Porphyry and the Quality of Place

Posted on December 4th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Can beautiful Porphyry pavers make you smarter, more creative and like your community more?  From three diverse expert sources comes information about how the built environment affects people and why it matters.

Academy for Neuroscience for Architecture

This is admittedly an abstract concept, to help explain, architects often tell this story: Early in his career, when he was still struggling to find a cure for polio, Jonas Salk retreated to Umbria, Italy, to the monastery at the Basilica of Assisi. The 13th-century Franciscan monastery rises out of the hillside in geometric white stone, with Romanesque arches framing its quiet courtyards. Salk would insist, for the rest of his life, that something about this place—the design and the environment in which he found himself—helped to clear his obstructed mind, inspiring the solution that led to his famous polio vaccine.

He really thought there was something … Read More »

Porphyry, Walt Disney and the Architecture of Reassurance

Posted on November 26th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry and What Walt Disney knew about cities.

Walt Disney knew the impact on the senses of cobblestoned streets and plazas. In recent years Disney-urbanism has colonized authentic cities. Urban entertainment districts such as South Street Seaport in New York, Quincy Market in Boston, and Harbor Place in Baltimore are good examples. South Street Seaport conveys the impression of a once-active seafaring culture, but without the messiness of a functioning seaport – the smell of fish, working-class dockhands, clamoring fish mongers. Instead we find national retail and restaurant chains like The Gap and McDonald’s.

It is the seemingly urban and authentic character of these districts (real cobblestones, 100-year old brick facades, and a carefully displayed historic ship) that make the usual retailers feel new. Visitors are usually tourists – everyday people living inNew York, for example, recognize that something about South Street … Read More »

Porphyry, Placemaking and Public Space

Posted on November 20th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone paving can be an essential ingredient, one of many, that contributes the element of permanence, beauty and sustainability to a place. It is a material that defines a space as comfortable, memorable, elegant and special.  It helps people want to go there.

Public spaces are increasingly being recognized as a crucial ingredient for successful cities and for their ability to revitalize and create economic and social development opportunities. But actually finding ways to build and maintain healthy public space remains elusive to many municipal governments, especially in the developing world. The vast web of streets, parks, plazas, and courtyards that define the public realm is often lacking, too poorly planned, or without adequate citizen participation in the design process.

Recognizing these challenges, the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) released earlier this month a draft of their handbook Placemaking and … Read More »

Porphyry salutes award winning Sugar Beach

Posted on November 12th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The use of traditional stone similar to Porphyry pavers are part of the award winning design of this urban park. Canada’s Sugar Beach is a whimsical new park that transformed a surface parking lot in a former industrial area into Toronto’s second urban beach at the water’s edge. 

Part of the multi-faceted Waterfront Toronto project previously highlighted in this blog, this park is in the East Bayfront section. Located at the foot of Lower Jarvis Street adjacent to the Redpath Sugar Factory, the 8500 square meter (2 acre) park is the first public space visitors see as they travel along Queens Quay from the central waterfront. The park’s brightly colored pink beach umbrellas and iconic candy-striped rock outcroppings welcome visitors to the new waterfront neighborhood of East Bayfront.

The design for Canada’s Sugar Beach, by Claude Cormier + Associes draws upon the … Read More »

Porphyry spotlights Via Manin project

Posted on November 9th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The Porphyry setts, used on Via Manin are unique in terms of physical, chemical, geological and mineralogical properties with features that distinguish it from all other stones. Via Manin is located in the heart of Mestre.  It is an important road that ends up in Piazza Ferretto, the elegant center of this Veneto city.  Via Manin, one of the main roads in Mestre, had been neglected for years.  Now it has been given new life and splendor thanks to renovation.

Every square and every road in any city is always much more than just paving.  They consist of people, citizens who stroll along them, shops that work and residents.  These are the people who were to be given back this historic road.

They aimed at safeguarding the unique original design of the historic center and the aesthetic continuity of the city.  Executive … Read More »

Porphyry Salutes Michael Van Valkenburg Associates

Posted on October 22nd, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving stone, with its natural beauty and physical qualities is a material that will enhance Austin’s Waller Creek project.

“Waller Creek represents the largest urban creek in the nation to undergo the level of transformation the conservancy envisions.  This project will completely transform how disconnected entities and interests relate and interact with each other.  While the impact area at hand is 28 acres, the conservancy is encouraging designers to pay special attention to key links and passages connecting people and the environment to the targeted redevelopment zone.”

Michael Van Valkenburg Associates and Thomas Phifer & Partners were named the winners of Design Waller Creek: A Competition on Oct. 18 as Austin (Texas) City Council affirmed the Waller Creek competition jury’s selection.

The project encompasses about 1.5 miles of Waller Creek with a total area of 28 acres, about 11 percent of downtown. The Michael … Read More »

Porphyry Salutes Michael Van Valkenburg Associates

Posted on October 22nd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving stone, with its natural beauty and physical qualities is a material that will enhance Austin’s Waller Creek Project.

Porphyry – Stone Surfaces 2

Posted on October 16th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone pavers can have a unique place in the design of any outdoor area. Stone is undoubtedly the first natural material which was used to create stable surfaces which could withstand heavy loads, making it possible for people to walk around easily, even when it was raining – safe and comfortable at the same time, very flat, and practical.  From this beginning, the desire to create beautiful designs out of this practical material has been the work of architects, landscape architects, landscape designers and professional installers.

“If we add the creativity of landscape designers and the know-how of stone craftsmen, the outcome is necessarily unique and enriches the colorful palette of garden art as time goes by. Stone mixes with stone to enhance harmonious contrasts and reveal the diversity of our subsoil. It harmonizes with wood, concrete, brick or steel, … Read More »

Porphyry Pavers and the iPhone

Posted on October 8th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

For all porphyry paver lovers, there is a great wallpaper for your iPhone.  Go to Settings>Brightness and Wallpaper>Wallpaper and select the grey porphyry fan pattern.

If you prefer the Copper Mountain Porphyry, just save this picture and select it from your camera roll for wallpaper.



We got excited about the subject and found a hardscape app that allows you to add porphyry to your job site photos.

It is from Home Revivals, llc. Below is their review:

“Backyard ideas made easy with HardScape’s.*** Please Note: If you’re looking for an entire landscape design app please take a look at iScape. This is a Lite version of iScape.Have you ever imagined what your outdoor spaces would look like with a new walkway or water feature? How about a stone wall, fencing or other hardscape features?Bring your imagination to life, simply and easily, with HardScape. … Read More »

Porphyry and the Terminated Vista

Posted on October 2nd, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry pavers are used to enhance the experience in many examples of places with a terminated vista. While there are many other elements present, which lead to the special experience of these views, the stone paving lends permanence and visual memory to these elements.  An alley in Portland, Maine; a street in Paris; or a plaza in Mexico; there is something special added to the scene with stone pavers.

One principle of great design is the “terminated vista,” a landscape or building at the end of your line of sight that sort of takes your breath away.  If you keep your eyes open the world is full of small, pleasant, and surprising sights.


A Terminated Vista is not your loss of view out the window or out to sea or whatever, at least not as a planning term; but it is about something … Read More »

Porphyry and the Opus Incertum

Posted on September 24th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry – Opus Incertum or Porphyry crazy paving is most suitable for surfacing external areas like patios, drives, pavements or external and internal wainscoting. It complements designs with water and vegetation, assuring warmth and color in the environment.

Opus incertum (L, = irregular order pattern) Ancient roman technique in which the stones are arranged casually. Used for wide pavings or as a background to the setting of other figures in opus musivum    



From the open quarry face, small amounts of explosives are used to bring down the stratified material. The porphyry thus quarried is first separated with mechanical shovels and the waste material, in this phase composed of “cappellaccio” (the top weathered part), earth and fault intrusions, is loaded on to lorries and sent off to various destinations (land fill, reclaimed land, crushers, banks of rivers, rubbish tips. The workable part … Read More »

Porphyry and Complete Streets

Posted on September 18th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone paving is an important ingredient in creating streets as public spaces that are memorable and used by many. It fulfills this complete street goal: Visual Excellence: Improving the overall aesthetic with an emphasis on high quality, lasting design and materials.

Much has been written recently about the concept of complete streets.  A complete street recognizes that the purpose is not to help an automobile to get from point A to point B, but to provide for pedestrians, cyclists, rapid transit, automobiles and to do so safely and with appeal.  These multipurpose streets are supposed to enhance everything from walkability to the economy.  Much of the writings take the form of manuals and guides about what to review, what to consider and how to make room for all the elements required.  There are design typologies for a wide variety of street types.  … Read More »

Porphyry and Historic Renovation

Posted on September 13th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Copper Mountain Porphyry pavers and cubes were chosen for the sidewalks, plaza and courtyard of the Dona Ana Village restoration.  It is interesting that porphyry was not part of the original paving material at the site, but the beauty and physical characteristics became an easy choice. It blends perfectly in this historic context and will outlast any other material.  Dona Ana was settled around 1650, by Spanish land grant settlers. It is on the famous Camino Real, The Royal Road.  In 1854 Mexico sold this territory to the U.S. as part of the Gadsden Purchase.

Doña Ana County hired Conron & Woods to document and develop preservation plans for a compound of three 1840’s adobes in the historic Doña Ana Village just north of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Work included preparing detailed drawings of these existing structures, photographic documentation, and the preparation of … Read More »

Porphyry Pavers – A Unifying Theme

Posted on September 4th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry pavers ability to be used indoors and outdoors make the material perfect for connecting these spaces.  It can unify the architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture.  The recent publication featured below, explores these vital connections and interfaces.

“The current environmental crisis calls for a unified practice of landscape and architecture that would allow buildings and landscapes to perform symbiotically to heal the environment. Over the past ten years, a diverse group of architects, landscape architects, and artists have undertaken groundbreaking projects that propose an integration of landscape and architecture, dissolving traditional distinctions between building and environment. Groundwork: Between Landscape and Architecture examines twenty-five projects, on an international scale, that consider landscape and architecture as true reciprocal entities.

What these projects all have in common is a desire to pay attention and homage to the liminal space where indoors and outdoors meet. The critical … Read More »

Porphyry Paving and Milner Plaza

Posted on August 27th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving is used throughout this expansive outdoor area in Santa Fe.  Named for Edwina and Charles Milner, supporters of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, Milner Plaza anchors four world class museums at the top of a hill just outside downtown Santa Fe.  Four world-class museums that present the art, history and culture of the Native American Southwest, the Spanish colonial past, and folk traditions from around the world. The plaza is host to many events such a live music and outdoor exhibits. 

Taken as a whole, Museum Hill is a wonderland of architecture, design, landscape architecture and sculpture.  All of that before you even begin to look at the extensive collections inside the buildings.  From the 1931 structure, Laboratory of Anthropology designed by John Gaw Meem to more contemporary work by Lloyd and Tryk Architect Alan T. Baer, to … Read More »

Porphyry Pavers And Waterfront Development

Posted on August 21st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Stones like Porphyry create surfaces that forever raise the level of importance and contribute to special placemaking.

Porphyry Stone Surfaces

Posted on August 13th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone pavers are beautiful and have remarkable physical properties. Stone surfaces designs here are inspirational.

Porphyry Stone Pavers Shipping Information

Posted on August 6th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving stones are now easy and cost effective to ship to the US and Canada.

Porphyry The Power Of Beauty

Posted on July 16th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Regardless of porphyry pavers remarkable physical characteristics, it is generally purchased or specified because of its beauty.

Porphyry Pavers And Pre Construction Mock Ups

Posted on July 9th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paver mock-ups are beneficial elements of the design, selection, and construction of large driveway, street and plaza projects.

Porphyry And The Other Color Of The Year

Posted on July 2nd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Designers take heed, Porphyry pavers, especially the Patagonia Storm Gray goes well with the other color of the year.

Porphyry And The Federal Realm

Posted on June 28th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Natural stone Porphyry pavers in the federal realm is an aesthetic enhancement that will create a competitive feature in public space.

Porphyry And Rethinking The Parking Lot

Posted on June 25th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Natural stone Porphyry paving has a role in the creation parking lots as public spaces with multiple and time of day uses.

La Posada Porphyry Before And After

Posted on June 21st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

La Posada replaces canyon cut porphyry with Copper Mountain porphyry

Porphyry As Placemaking Stone

Posted on June 18th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

In most of the worlds best public spaces and public squares you will see stone and in many of them the stone is porphyry.

Porphyry And High Praise For Cincinnati S Washington Park

Posted on June 4th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone paving is front and center at the $46 million renovation of Cincinnati’s historic Wahington Park.

Porphyry S Applications In Better Streets

Posted on May 25th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The use of Porphyry natural stone pavers in the appropriate design situation creates an aesthetic and long lasting application.

Porphyry S Role In Streets As Places Initiative

Posted on May 16th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Article discussing porphyry’s role in public places and the Streets as Places Initiative

Porphyry And The Best Public Squares Boulevards And Streets

Posted on May 14th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry has been used as a paving material in the worlds best Public Squares, Boulevards and Streets.

EcoSystems Grout Permeable Joint Material For Porphyry

Posted on May 8th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Ecosystems Grout – a permeable joint material for porphyry

Porphyry Salutes National Mall Design Winners

Posted on May 7th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The use of stone paving such as Porphyry is apparent in the designs for the National Mall

Porphyry Cobblestones And The Paris Roubaix Race

Posted on May 4th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Classic cobblestone roads of Porphyry and granite are a part of European cycling history that continues to the present day.

Porphyry Rock Star Kevin Avants

Posted on April 23rd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Designing, installing, training or consulting on hardscape, Kevin Avants work has been intertwined with Porphyry natural stone for many years

Porphyry And The Public Realm Design Manual

Posted on April 16th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

This comprehensive Urban Design, Visioning, Design Standards document includes hardscape, plant lists, and water features for Public Space.

Porphyry Replaces Asphalt And Concrete In Placemaking Initiative

Posted on April 9th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry pavers have recently been used to repave former streets that are now pedestrian areas.

Porphyry And Great Places

Posted on April 2nd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Stone such as Porphyry pavers is used in the special public squares that are famous in North America.

Porphyry And The Navy Pier Design Winner

Posted on March 26th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving stone should be considered in the final design based on its beauty, sustainability and freeze/thaw properties.

Porphyry And Philadelphia Storm Water

Posted on March 19th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Pervious Porphyry pavement has a role to play in numerous parking lanes, alleys, driveways, motor courts and walkways in Philadelphia.

Is Porphyry Coming To Tulsa

Posted on March 13th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

We will be surprised if Porphyry stone pavers are not part of the final designs for Tulsas new gathering place – Blair Mansion

How To Choose A Porphyry Installer

Posted on March 5th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Choosing a porphyry installer

Porphyry Blog Salutes New Smithsonian Museum Groundbreaking

Posted on February 27th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

We look forward to the Museum’s landscape and hardscape plans to see the use of natural stone pavers, perhaps Porphyry.

From The Porphyry Blog The Design Competition Winners Are

Posted on February 26th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry is useful in the designs of public spaces. The use of stone is prevalent due to its beauty, permanence and sustainability.

Porphyry Stone For Romance

Posted on February 20th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry paving is seen in some of the most romantic places. A recent blog by Kaid Benfield showcases these magical romantic urban settings

Porphyry Stone For Public Spaces

Posted on February 16th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Stone, including Porphyry, has long been favored for public space because of its feeling of grandeur and beauty.

Porphyry And Placemaking

Posted on January 30th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

As we look at the timeless designs on the pages of this book, we can imagine the various uses of Porphyry paving stones.

Porphyry And The Sustainable Sites Initiative

Posted on January 23rd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

In the new proposed rating system for landscaped sites, Porphyry rates high as a wise material to select for increased rankings.

Porphyry Natural Stone Streetscapes

Posted on January 16th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone paved streets, along with other stones are the subject of amazing research in documenting old world methods.

Porphyry And The Public Square

Posted on January 9th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry is the surface of choice in the famous Hildago Plaza. Stone has been associated with public spaces forever.

Porphyry Two Birds With One Stone

Posted on January 3rd, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

With Porphyry in mind, there are opportunites with remnant pieces of our cities to create long lasting beauty for our cities and their inhabitants.

Porphyry Pavement Repair

Posted on December 26th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The repair of Porphyry pavement is one of the benefits of using the stone. Proper repair of utility cuts cannot be noticed.

Porphyry In The Urban Alley

Posted on December 19th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone pavers elevate the lowly alley into public space, immediately providing the atmosphere of elegance and permanence.

Porphyry And The Color Of The Year 2012

Posted on December 12th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The newest color of the year will wear well with Milestone Imports, Copper Mountain Porphyry.  The natural stone paver for driveways and patios.

Porphyry Bends At Monza

Posted on December 5th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

At the time of their installation, curves using porphyry pavers were the most technically appropriate materials known for this race course.

Patagonia Porphyry

Posted on November 28th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

From the Atlantic Patagonia in the Southern Hemisphere comes a beautiful variety of porphyry, easily brought to the United States.

Placemaking With Porphyry

Posted on November 21st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry stone pavings place in landscape competitions like Manhattans East River Esplanade is a natural.

Porphyry – Natural Stone Surfacing of Streets

Posted on November 14th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Stone Streets

 First published in 2000, by the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS), Natural Stone Surfacing – Good Practice Guide, was responding to the following regarding their city center streets.

“The techniques used in installing stone surfaces which perform well, vary throughout Europe.  They are based on semi empirical, traditional, guidance borne of experience rather than engineering knowledge.  No unified guidance exists.

 This guide has been developed to address this lack of engineering understanding and is based on a programme of research, tests and trials from which practical guidance based on engineering principles has been developed.”

Lost Knowledge

In the 1950’s as many as 30% of Scottish city streets were paved with stone.  Beauty, long life and repairability headed the list of reasons.   60 years later, it was found that the traditional skills and knowledge associated with stone laying had been lost.  These … Read More »

Porphyry Cubes For Crosswalks

Posted on November 7th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry Cubes are an ideal material to use where heavy traffic loads will be present and the beauty of stone is part of the design requirements.

Porphyry History

Posted on October 25th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Article about porphyry’s historic use, discovery, and use as paving by the Romans

Laying Specification – “Porphyry Pavers for Vehicular Traffic”

Posted on September 28th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry Driveways, Porphyry Streets, Porphyry Plazas all can benefit from this installation specification.  The Sustainability, Beauty, and Life Cycle Cost of natural stone pavers is an ever increasing choice for hardscape designers.  The techniques and skills for laying these stones has more roots in Europe than in North America and even there, the word of mouth, father to son training has required formalizing the methodology as each generation loses some of the knowledge.

Unbound refers to flexible paving vs. rigid paving.  There is no cement used in the sub base, base, or jointing materials.  The interlock achieved by proper installation, compacting and edge restraints creates a resilient, load bearing, lifetime surface.  This method is very easily repaired if digging up utilities at a later date is necessary.

 Setts often are incorrectly called cobblestone and in the literature are interchangeable. Technically the sett is a … Read More »

Porphyry on the Champs-Elysees

Posted on August 15th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

                                                                                 Photo Credit Vigal Veia  

If you watched with millions of others, the final stage of the Tour De France, you saw the peloton on the Champs-Elysees.  You saw the riders on the Belgian Porphyry that is laid here in an overlapping arc pattern.


 The Avenue des Champs-Elysees is one of the most famous streets in the world.  It remains the second most expensive real estate in Europe. This and many other Paris streets are paved in stone.  Some have a local sandstone but many have been paved with Belgian Porphyry in the highly stable overlapping arc pattern. This pattern is not only classically beautiful but its ability to create interlock allows it to perform under tremendous traffic loads. The pattern has proven to be a favorite for driveways and auto courts. In the picture to the right, you see the famous slab granite gutter between … Read More »

Porphyry Projects – Large or Small…We Love Them All

Posted on August 7th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

We love large driveway projects and the equally large public plazas that Porphyry is being specified for.  At the same time, we get the same feeling when we see Porphyry used in any context and here are a few small, beautiful porphyry stone projects that caught our eye.  In both of these projects, Copper Mountain Porphyry is mixed with Patagonia Sierra Porphyry with 4″ x 4″ x 3″ thick dimensional stone.                                                                                                                     


The Portal at the right is one by Barbara Vadurro of Santa Fe and extends on to an adjacent patio.



The Fan Pattern used on the portal provides an old world texture that compliments the adobe structure it is part of and gives a timeless feeling to the setting.  The strength and durability of the stone will have it lasting for as long as the structure is there.  The combined colors of … Read More »

The Porphyry Blog Stone Pavers Designers Choice

Posted on July 30th, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry pavers have been part of extraordinary public spaces for centuries. A new design by winning studio a+I has stone pavers.

Porphyry Pavers: Aspect Ratio, Plan Ratio, Plan Area, Modular Ratio

Posted on May 22nd, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The shape of the stone unit determines how the stone surface responds under load and the way in which the load will be resisted.  Certain shapes of units are better suited to particular forms of construction.  While they all can be appropriate for pedestrian use, driveway and city streets have tighter parameters to pay attention to.

These terms are used throughout the paver industry:

Aspect Ratio – The overall length of a paver divided by its thickness of the paver unit.

Plan Ratio – The overall Length of a paver divided by its width.

Plan Area – The Length times the Width of the paver.

New  – Modular Ratio – The relationship between the depth of a unit and its plan area.


  SCOTS – NATURAL STONE SURFACING, Good Practice Guide – 2nd Edition December 2004

There is an important relationship between the depth of a natural stone element and its plan area.  … Read More »

Laying Porphyry Paving “Pose de Paves”

Posted on May 21st, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

A Porphyry installation video of a beautiful cobblestone pathway is educational. This short (2:21) segment showing two posers (layers) and a helper laying overlapping arcs with 4” (8-10cm) porphyry cubes, demonstrates an effortless seeming process of a traditional setting method that dates back centuries.  The stone setting skill of these two is highly refined and belies the years of training and experience they demonstrate.


Porphyry paving is an old world material, a type of volcanic igneous rock. This material used with installation professionals can achieve stunning areas that will heighten the aesthetic value of the surroundings.  Cubes lend themselves to many different patterns. It is exciting to watch this installation performance.

The overlapping arc pattern is the most wide spread pattern that easily suits every kind of area.  This is the reason it is also called “normal” lying.  This and other patterns … Read More »

What is Porphyry?

Posted on April 29th, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Porphyry has been used as a paving surface as far back as the Roman era.  The Romans used it because it had a naturally flat, durable surface and the stone was easy to quarry.

 Traditional porphyry is a variable thickness stone.  It’s a type of granite that has naturally extruded through the earth’s crust.  Unlike most granites, it fissured in layers due to seismic activity.  These fissures caused cooling in the formation, further causing larger crystals to form around smaller crystals, giving the stone its unique appearance and texture.


 Because the formation has vertical layers, extracting the stone requires very little energy – far less than sawing granite out of monolithic, block formations, and far less pollution than the heat and carbon dioxide expelled during the process of making concrete pavers.  When porphyry is blasted out of its formation, it comes out … Read More »

Challenging Porphyry Installation on a Steep Driveway in Arizona

Posted on April 1st, by elevate in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Santa Fe landscape designer and porphyry installer Kevin Avants of Avant Gardens was asked to be involved as a design consultant for a uniquely difficult Porphyry driveway project in Arizona. The General Contractor was renovating a worn-out old gravel driveway with porphyry. The site, located on the top of a mountain, had the challenge of a very steep entrance and exit driveways and was proving incredibly difficult to design for. 

Kevin took the challenge and worked with the contractor and local installers to design a breath-takingly beautiful layout that works perfectly with the steep terrain.  He incorporated a double fan pattern with circles as transitions from one level to the next. 

The masons willingness to take on an unfamiliar material and install a pattern new to them is a tribute to there skills and years of experience!


 The classic Italian pattern turned out beautifully and was designed to be a structural component … Read More »

Restoring Glory To La Posada Spa Resort With Porphyry

Posted on January 1st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

Restoring the Glory Not all porphyry is created equal.  There are variations in the quality of porphyry, and the quality of processing.

The Importance Of Substrate In Paving

Posted on January 1st, by Roger Murphy in Milestone Blog. No Comments

The importance of substrate in paving cannot be undervalued.  The paving layer is the veneer over the top of the substrate.

Milestone Imports
Get a Quote
View Inventory