Creating Inviting Entrances with Natural Stone

Spring Creek Nature Area

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to entryways, landscapes, hardscapes, and other types of construction. A space’s entrance should complement its surroundings and set the tone for the rest of the design.

How to Establish an Outdoor Entryway to Remember

By incorporating natural stone into an entryway, design teams can create inviting entrances that make a statement. To create an inviting entrance at the Spring Creek Nature Area in Texas, granite was selected to achieve the artist’s vision. Here, we explore lessons learned from the project in creating an entrance that will welcome visitors for generations to come.

Spring Creek Texture
PHOTO CREDIT: Brad J. Goldberg

Spring Creek Nature Area

Located just outside Dallas in Richardson, Texas, Spring Creek Nature Area boasts 100 acres of hiking trails, natural areas and picnic spaces. When the City commissioned local artist Brad Goldberg to create designs to mark the park’s pedestrian accesses, the artist immediately knew he wanted to incorporate granite in the design.

Goldberg used Kenoran Sage granite to create sculptural designs at the park’s two pedestrian entrances. From the project, we learn some key takeaways of how to incorporate natural stone to create an inviting entryway.

Understand natural stone’s properties

First and foremost, when working with natural stone in exterior applications, it’s important to understand how each variety will react with the environment. Goldberg — who has worked with Coldspring for more than 30 years — recommended granite to the City for the nature park because of its durability and maintenance-free elements. When working with natural stone, it’s important to choose a partner that can help determine the best, most durable material for the project.

Create a visible, unique entrance

Whether the entrance is to a high-traffic public space or to a serene natural area like Spring Creek Nature Area, natural stone creates a striking, high-impact entrance. Designating access to an area makes it easy for visitors to understand the preferred entrance to a space, and can also help with the flow of traffic.

Bring a natural element to the space

For Spring Creek Nature Area, granite provided a natural complement to the surrounding area’s hardwood forest, trails and creeks. Yet even highly urban designs benefit from incorporating elements of nature for a soothing atmosphere. Not only are natural elements popular in modern designs, but they’re also versatile, calming and timeless.

Draw from inspiration

During his visit to the Kenoran Sage quarry, Goldberg envisioned a rough-hewn look showing drill marks to display the way the material has come from the quarry. By working with an innovative natural stone fabricator and partner, nearly any vision the design team imagines can be reproduced. Don’t limit a design to what you “think” can be accomplished. Dream, consult with your fabricator, and determine the options. The result? An inspired creation that creates a lasting impression on visitors, who will be more likely to spread the word and become word-of-mouth ambassadors for the project.

Use multiple finishes to create different looks

Using the same stone in different finishes creates multiple looks and an aesthetically pleasing space. The Spring Creek Nature Area entrances incorporated the same granite, Kenoran Sage, in two finishes: natural and thermal. The natural finish of the granite shows off the visually intriguing texture of quarried natural stone, while the thermal finish showcases the stone’s crystals and creates a contrasting look.

When designing an entrance, incorporate natural stone to create a first impression that lasts. To learn more about how to bring your design vision to reality, contact Coldspring.

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