A constant presence in architecture, authentic natural stone has been utilized in various types of constructions, languages and forms across the centuries, with iconic results. Carved by sculptors to convey a sense of living, impalpable beauty, and crafted (more recently) to create new objects and furnishings, in a balance between serial production and unique creations, natural stone takes design and the creative gesture beyond the time frame of fashions. And beyond clichés.
Also in contemporary architectural composition, natural stone fines excellent opportunities for use: its self-sufficiency and variegated flexibility make it easy to combine, in a communicative way, with other construction elements – old and new – in terms of technology and morphology. Matched, for example, with the living botanical surfaces of the projects of the architect Stefano Boeri, who investigates the relationship between man and nature in the urban context, while bearing witness to the peerless values of authentic stone materials in the ad campaign #NOFAKES Natural Stone is Better of PNA – Pietra Naturale Autentica.
Stone Forest by Marmomacc, Design Setsu & Shinobu Ito
Tonino Lamborghini Towers, Chengdu, China – Design Marco Piva
His voice is joined by those of the architects Alessandro La Spada, Alfredo Vanotti, Antonio Iraci, Pasquale Piroso, Marco Piva, and the Japanese designer Setsu Ito, in a video narrative that examines some of the most outstanding works of Italian architecture to emphasize the inseparable, precise bond between territorial identity and authenticity of stone materials.
Stefano Boeri underlines the need for architects to have full awareness of the materials they use, as well as the importance of the concept of authenticity in their selection, “because with respect to a substitute or a fake, these materials guarantee quality in their ability to reflect or absorb light in an absolutely unique way.”
Candoglia, Carrara and Botticino marble, limestone from the south, basalt and granite from Sardinia: these are just some of the expressions of a natural genesis, of great variety and character, ready to provide chromatic variations, veins and grain of different forms and textures, effects of transparency, games of light and shadow, iridescent reflections that add dynamism to spaces. These are but a few of the examples of varying sensitivity to lighting conditions, which reawaken the unique essence of a polysemic nature that is extraordinarily irregular and unique.
Tao by Kreoo, Design Marco Piva
Blue Agate by Antolini
Light emphasizes the visual value of travertine with evocative effects generated by bas-reliefs revealing the material’s porosity, or particular surface treatments.
The translucent beauty of materials like onyx, alabaster and certain types of marble is applied by interior designers through backlighting of fixed or mobile furnishings. In this case, light crosses the surfaces – with minimum thickness of 2-4 mm – projecting crystal patterns and intensifying colors and depth.