Marble Interiors: The Spiritual Material
Marble is the essence of classic Western design. Think of marble interiors and it may conjure images of white columns and philosophers. But does that mean marble should be consigned to a museum? Not according to Marmi Vrech Managing Director, Alessandro Vrech.
Alessandro talks to us today about the ‘personality’ of marble, its unique flexibility and how, when combined with other materials, marble interiors are what you make of them.
Can marble characterise a space?
Marble is absolutely a barycentric element: its personality, essence, and versatility make it characteristic of the environment in which it is placed. What is more ‘material’ than stone? In philosophy matter is opposed to the spirit. And yet, in the ancient Greek Stoical philosophy matter is conceived as a passive principle which is shaped and brought to life by divine intervention. Here is a definition that I like:
‘Man who, through design and the craftsmanship of the transformation, elevates marble to a “high” material.’
So, how does marble interact with the other surrounding elements?
Marble discretely dialogues with surrounding elements without overwhelming the design. But it always characterises the environments in which it is inserted. Here at Marmi Vrech, we like to combine marble with other elements. We created the flooring for a spa in Miami where every single tile was made of a mixture of marble and wood, with a rather particular design. We have also made marble creations with steel or brass profiles, immediately de-classicising the marble and making it current and trendy.
How does Marmi Vrech work with contemporary aesthetics – do marble interiors have to be classic in design?
This is a topic particularly dear to me because, understandably, marble has always been associated with classicism. On the other hand, marble can be inserted in contemporary settings. Think of a monochrome floor or one with a discreet grain and with large tiles such as 90 x 90 cm with zero joint. A unique mirror on which to insert essential, clean, contemporary furnishing elements. The effect is absolutely fantastic and impactful.
At Marmi Vrech we have an internal Academy, and the idea is to invite young architects and designers to training modules next year, to raise awareness and to promote a contemporary use of marble. If I can give a concrete example of the contemporary use of stone, given that he is one of our customers, I would like to quote Moroso who takes care of the Diesel Home collection. Here, Renzo Rosso uses marble in a completely contemporary way.
What are the main uses of marble in the luxury hospitality sector?
Marble can be used eclectically, depending on the inclination of the decorator or interior designer. Uses range from the more-or-less classic floor, to the covering, to the furnishing accessory. From a top for a bar counter, to bathroom vanity tops, lamps, accessories. The uses are truly innumerable. Since we are talking about hospitality, allow me to focus on the great attention that our company has dedicated to the topic of treatments for almost 60 years.
The use of marble in intensive use contexts such as hotels or cruise ships requires serious reflection on treatments. This includes anti-stain or anti-rising, due to impurities and/or humidity. Designers should consider anti-slip treatments in reception areas as well as in shower trays and wet areas, for example baths, spa, hammam and poolside. Modern treatments work to preserve the timeless beauty of marble.