Cast stone beats natural stone for ornamental gateway
The capability of UKCSA member Procter Cast Stone to supply a large quantity of complex elements to a tight schedule led to the specification of cast stone for the gateway to a Hindu temple in the West Midlands.
The ornamental gateway, or Gopurum, features traditional Chola architecture. It doubles as an accommodation block for priests at the Shri Venkateswara Temple, the first shrine to Lord Venkateswara in Europe.
Procter supplied 2280 bespoke cast stone units over a 12-week period to meet the construction schedule. The details included bands, pilasters, plinths, architraves, window and door surrounds, all in various shapes and sizes due to the tiered design.
Ciara Ryan of Essex Goodman Suggit Architects said ‘the main reasons for specifying cast stone instead of natural stone were the speed of delivery and the complexity of the shapes. Natural stone can have long lead times and delivery can be unpredictable. Procters are one of the leaders in this field and they were very helpful throughout the project, particularly with the front-end design.
Dr VP Narayan Rao, chairman of the temple, said ‘to the untrained eye it looks just like natural stone, yet it was far easier to obtain. The service from Procter Cast Stone was always first class.