Marble has been one of the biggest trends of the last couple of years, and shows no signs of slowing. Making its way into furniture, lighting and accessories; we show you some of the most exciting companies showcasing this stone.
Arguably the most coveted of all building materials, marble has been at the epicentre of design for thousands of years. Long associated with the highest levels of craftsmanship, this stone has been used to create many of the world’s most celebrated sculptures and architectural marvels.
The supplying, processing and mining of this natural material has created a significant international market. Largely dominated by the building trade, the need for marble continues to increase. In 2014, Saudi Arabia alone imported $1.5 billion of this stone. Despite its universal popularity, production is still dominated by only 4 countries. Lead by Italy, these account for almost half the world’s annual yield.
Recent advances in technology have made marble more versatile. This has granted new opportunities for designers to work with this material. Emerging first as a trend in 2014, marble was incorporated into many of the products exhibited throughout the major trade shows. Notable examples included Patricia Urquiola’s Earthquake 5.9 collection, whilst Raw Edge & Caeserstone’s marble ping-pong table demonstrated a playful interpretation.
This trend has continued into 2015. January’s Stockholm Furniture Fair exhibited a stunning collection of furniture by Note Design Studio & Norm Architects and it again featured in April’s Salone Del Mobile with works by Joa Herrenknecht, Zaha Hadid and Alcarol.
Here we present our selection of the companies and designers best utilising this trend:
Renowned stone specialist Lapicida, produces some of the finest examples of marble furniture in the UK. Based in Chelsea, they have complimented their own range of award winning designs by introducing a collaboration with British Designer of the Year, Bethan Grey.
Carrera topped dining table (above) by Bethan Grey. This brogue detailing takes Lapicida’s craftsmen more than 20 hours of painstaking engraving work and incorporates over 500 individual holes.
Italian Arabescato Marble Bath by Lapicida (above). The use of this blue grey natural stone veining was chosen to create the illusion of flowing water.
Family owned Italian stone company Marsotto has been devoted to shaping marble for over 150 years. In 2009 they began a new collaborative approach titled ‘Marsotto Edizioni’. Each year since they have teamed up with a selection of the world’s leading designers to produce a range of marble furniture. First launching their collection in 2010 under the guidance of James Irvine, they have since worked with Konstantin Grcic, David Chipperfield, Ross Lovegrove and Naoto Fuksawa among others.
Their latest collection, ‘Steel on Marble’ launched at this year’s Salone Del Mobile, and featured a line of 5mm thick tables by American fashion designer, Laurence Steele. Working with Carrera marble, Laurence reduced the size of the table tops to only 5mm, granting a unique transparency to the finished designs.
Brooklyn based lighting designer, Bec Brittain is known for her unique approach to lighting. Previously the Design Director for the renowned Lindsey Adelman Studio, she established her studio in 2011. Bec’s first signature product ‘SHY’ was released to critical acclaim.
Her Helix collection, launched at New York’s design store Matter, utilises marble to accentuate the design’s sculptural qualities.
British designer Lee Broom is one of Britain’s leading product and interior designers. Named as Designer of the Year in 2011/12, the Guardian identified him as being ‘….to furniture what Marc Jacobs or Tom Ford are to fashion.” Today his designs are retailed in stores in over 30 countries.
Lee first exhibited his work with marble when he presented his ‘On the Rocks’ glassware collection at 2014’s Salone Del Mobile. His following ‘Chamber’ and ‘Neavou Rebel’ lighting ranges, launched later that year, continue his experimentation with Carrera marble.