Cosmati Style Church Pavement by Rugo Stone

Rugo Stone is a company based out of Virginia that specializes in working with natural stone. The company has a certain pedigree by sheer fact that it was founded by the grandson of an Italian stone-carver. Before we take a look at one of their recent projects, first let's share a little bit more background about the company itself:

Founded by Brett S. Rugo, grandson of an Italian stone carver, Rugo Stone is a privately-owned company dedicated to the design, fabrication, and installation of natural stone, mosaic, and other architecturally significant stonework products... In 1996, Mr. Rugo founded Rugo Stone—a natural stone contracting company committed to the highest quality in craft and customer service. Together with other master stone masons, one of the industry’s most respected craftsmen, joined the firm, and together the two devoted all their knowledge and energy to creating a company dedicated to delivering extraordinary stonework, performed with integrity. Today, Rugo Stone routinely employs over 120 employees, and works throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic region for some of the nation’s most acclaimed architects, churches, developers, construction managers, and private homeowners. Entrusted with some of the most challenging and intricate projects required of a stone contracting company, we’re uniquely capable of performing highly detailed marble and granite fabrication, complex stone shop drawings, and detailed engineered support systems.... Our steadfast commitment to fine craftsmanship means doing things right the first time, no matter what. Our company culture demands integrity, excellence and versatility, and those values shine through in everything we do.

Beautiful stonework is one of those things that is frequently recognized when seen, but not always thought of or prioritized in people's minds -- and yet it makes all the difference in the world in terms of liturgical nobility and beauty. 

We are going to share a few of their projects over the next little while, but one I wanted to draw your attention to specifically today is chapel of Our Lady of Pompei Chapel located in the upper basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.. What I particularly wanted to focus on in this particular instance is the cosmatesque style flooring that Rugo Stone brought to life. 

As many of our readers will already know, this is a medieval style of church pavement that involves the use of polychrome marbles set into distinct geometric patterns. Such floors can be found through the most important churches and basilicas of Italy and other parts of Europe. Frankly, it is a style which I wish would find greater presence in more modern church designs as it can transform even the smallest liturgical space into something much more impressive, as is the case, I think, of the Chapel of Our Lady of Pompei:

Of course, Rugo Stone did more than just the floor, so here is their own description of the entire chapel project described, as you would expect, with a particular focus on the stonework:

Romanesque arches, which frame the mosaic seen upon entering, are flanked by two Verde Antique marble columns. Beautifully veined wall panels of Italian Calacatta Giallo Siena marble adorn the chapel walls, and all the wall panels are diamond book matched with 1 mm joints. The floor is of a luxurious Cosmati design, a form of “cutwork” of elaborate inlays, vigorous in color and design, which relate to Romanesque art. The Cosmati family began creating their signature floor designs in the 12th century. The ceiling and rear wall of the Chapel feature hand-cut Venetian glass mosaic all installed in the classic indirect method. The floor is unique in that there are no joints and so the mosaic appears to be hand laid. Positioned near the center of the Chapel is a marble altar, the mensa of which is a solid block of Botticino Classico marble. The four green marble columns supporting the mensa correlate to the monolithic columns on either side of the niche containing the mosaic of Our Lady.

The entire project was executed and completed by Rugo Stone in the year 2008.  Certainly if you are looking to do a renovation or build a new church or chapel, this is a company you will want to consider for your stonework needs.

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