1. Laterite is a beatiful gold-and-red coloured stone, with a wonderful earthy tone, that was very commonly used as a building material in Kerala, India, as well as other parts of South Asia. It can be left exposed without plastering.
    Laterite will always be sort of rough-hewn, because it is an agglomerate, unlike granite which is a metamorphic stone. See below for a beautiful seating area  made out of laterite.
  2. December 12, 2011 10:26:31 PM EST
  3. Hewing and finishing of laterite is usually done manually in a centuries-old tradition of building.
  4. December 13, 2011 12:33:29 PM EST
  5. In South India, laterite is a cost-effective building material since it is locally available. However the lack of commercial production of laterite has resulted in brick and cement blocks being more common these days. Surprising, considering that laterite is beautiful when left exposed, and can be treated to withstand algae, without being plastered.
  6. December 13, 2011 12:33:29 PM EST
  7. Entire villages have been built of laterite in Vietnam:
  8. In Nigeria, compressed laterite blocks have been used to build low cost housing:
  9. However, I personally feel that laterite comes to its own in large buildings, where the natural beauty of the stone displays in a larger scale. I feel the same of face-brick buildings. There is something about scale…
  10. Lovingly built (out of burnt orange laterite blocks) using doors
    December 12, 2011 10:27:48 PM EST
  11. Francis Buchanan-Hamilton first described and named a laterite formation in southern India in 1807. He named it laterite from the Latin word later, which means a brick; this rock can easily be cut into brick-shaped blocks for building.

    Laterite is a surface formation rich in iron and aluminium, formed in hot and wet tropical areas. It develops by intensive and long-lasting weathering of the underlying parent rock. Nearly all laterites are rusty-red because of iron oxides.

    Historically, laterite was cut into brick-like shapes and used in monument building. After 1000 CE construction at Angkor Wat and other southeast Asian sites changed to rectangular temple enclosures made of laterite, brick and stone.

    Laterites can be either soft and easily broken into smaller pieces, or firm and physically resistant. Basement rocks are buried under the thick weathered layer and rarely exposed.

    (From Wikipedia)


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