No two pieces of stone are the same. Formed over millions of years, every block, slab and tile we use has its own identity: a visual history, recorded in the veins and colour, the mineral traces and fossil deposits, of the unique processes that created it. Our understanding of these organic, individual qualities is at the centre of our bespoke service, enabling anyone to realise the beauty of natural stone in their project.
The process starts with a consultation at our technical office – a team of designers, engineers and architects who advise on the choice of stone and bring their expertise to find solutions to technical issues.
We then head to the quarry. For 70 years and three generations Salvatori’s headquarters have been located in the shadow of the Apuan Alps in Northern Tuscany, home to the imposing Carrara marble quarries favoured by everyone from Michelangelo to Snøhetta, the architects behind Oslo’s strikingly modern opera house.
It’s here that we have developed an intimate understanding of stone in its natural habitat, and we know exactly where to extract material that meets the specific requirements of each order, matching the gradations, colour and characteristics of the stone to the needs of the client and its final use.
Using both traditional techniques and cutting-edge, specialised machinery developed for Salvatori, the raw stone is cut to specifications established by our technical team through site visits and liaising with the client.
Finished by experienced craftspeople, the stone is then shipped in bespoke packaging – organised by the final location of the stone, to save time on site – with a member of the team on hand to ensure a smooth and successful installation.
Whether for private residential projects or retail and hospitality, we have always worked closely with designers and architects to push the limits of what stone can do, encouraging new ways of thinking about the material.
The new science lab at the ETH Zurich by Baumschlager Eberle architects, for example, tested the creative solution-finding capabilities of the technical team in requiring over 1000 4.6 metre-long panels of travertine – a size that many believed would be impossible to produce.
By extensively modifying our cutting equipment we managed to accommodate the larger slabs and, to aid their installation at heights of up to 20 metres, we developed a specially counterweighted pincer that allowed each slab to rotate 180 degrees, to be lifted and positioned correctly.
Our bespoke service also extends to undertaking specific research and product development. When New York department store Bergdorf Goodman approached us to replace their well-trodden Roman travertine floors, installed in 1899, we found the quarry that had supplied the original stone had closed.
Following an investigation into the surrounding area, we discovered an adjacent seam that contained a similar colour and vein to the original stone. We relocated our machinery and, within two months of the commission, the new flooring had been delivered and installed in Manhattan.
Whether it’s developing new techniques, unique product and design solutions, or specialised mechanical innovations, we are able to use our experience and capabilities to meet the demands of any project, overcoming the challenges of using natural stone. Bespoke, for Salvatori, means whatever is needed to get the job done.