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Marble is forever: a closer look at a material that transcends trends and fashions

08.2020

Natural stone is uniquely durable. From the quality of the material we use to our timeless design principles and our expertise in working the stone, Salvatori is committed to realising the sustainable, long-lasting potential of natural stone. In the first of a new series exploring how ‘Marble is Forever’, CEO Gabriele Salvatori considers how stone can endure changing tastes and styles, and be enjoyed by generation after generation.

Marble is so durable it transcends the fashion of the moment

“When I visit great ancient buildings like the Pantheon in Rome, I always find it incredible to think how people have walked on the exactly the same piece of stone for the past 2000 years, that the stones that you are touching were put there by another human being, so long ago. There’s a certain energy you get from natural stone that’s not like other products – synthetic materials, or those that degrade over time – marble is here to stay, and it carries its history with it.”

Because marble is so durable it transcends the fashion of the moment: a particular stone or colour might become unpopular for a decade or two, but it will always come back into vogue further down the road. We consider the famous buildings by the likes of Carlo Scarpa, Mies van der Rohe and other Modernists to be architectural icons – people go on pilgrimages to see them – but the design, the stone they used, was not always considered in the same light as it is today.

As natural stone endures these cycles of styles and tastes, it becomes even more beautiful, acquiring its own unique patina. It would of course be possible to take the stone back to how it originally appeared, to repolish it, but it is something that we would never do – it might have taken fifty or a hundred, or even a thousand years, to acquire that patina, and that story would be lost if you removed its surface to make it appear new again.

Stone shows its history, it reminds us of a sense of time that is far greater than us. I like the idea that it could be possible to pass your house on to your children, that it will be handed down through the generations; to know that they will walk on exactly the same piece of stone that your great-grandfather walked with your great-grandmother. No other material can offer that.