Architects and the Carrara Brand

wed 1 JULY 2015
A debate around marble during Carrara MarbleWeeks, among the leading figures in contemporaryarchitecture. Italians are the best in the world ifthey use their skills that only they have to their bestadvantage. 
“We are asked to use marble because it is a material that belongs to the culture of humanity”A debate around marble during Carrara Marble Weeks, among the leading figures in contemporary architecture. Italians are the best in the world if they use their skills that only they have to their best advantage. Awards to Nicole Dosso for the use of marble in the One World Trade center and to Doonia Maaoui and Michel Boucquillon for their dream house. My dream? To make three marble copies of the three different versions of the Pietà sculpted by Michelangelo in his life and on those open a shared reflection on the concept of mercy, but also on the use of marble. A modern reflection and one without prejudice to go to the origin of sculpture and matter." This is how Stefano Boeri, one of the leading architects on the Italian scene, opened his speech at the round table organised by IMM / CarraraFiere together with the National Council of Architects hosted at the Chamber of Commerce of Carrara. A room full of architects and experts (many entrepreneurs of marble) that listened to and often applauded the most significant moments of the speeches and reflections of the Italian and American architects who participated with enthusiasm, bringing their direct experiences. It was not an Italy vs USA debate but it involved some of theleading figures not only in the theoretical debate but also in the strategic decisions involving companies and large investments. This is the case of Nicole Dosso, representing S.O.M. (the mythical Skidmore, Owing & Merrill office) that designed the One World Trade Center, a skyscraper 1,776 feet high (year of the proclamation of independence of the United States) and now the highest building in the United States, built on the area of the Twin Towers. "In this extraordinary building for its symbolic value and also for the area where it stands, we used marble in its highest function, to reflect light, producing claddings on the ground floor where there is no direct light and giving life to light spaces with Carrara marble.It was a great challenge we faced together with Carrara-based companies, like SAVEMA. We went to the quarry and took an active part in the choice of marble because we were very clear about its use. It was a complicated but exciting project - said Nicole Dosso - crowned with success thanks to the skill of our Italian partners that have proven their absolute ability to stand up to the task.” Stimulated by Simona Finessi , editor of Platform, an architecture and design review, the other participants made their contributions. Joshua Coleman (Southerland Page Inc.), designer, highlighted a trend: "Our customers want us to use marble for projects of great value. It is a unique material that must be chosen according to its use and therefore those who use it must know it very well. “For the "Italian school" represented during the evening by Alessandro Cambi and Paolo Mezzalama from the SCAPE office, “a new phase for the use of the marble is starting. We have a Renaissance, Michelangelo-style vision of fine craftsmanship, while we must seriously reflect on the new frontiers - said Mezzalama - which are technology, serial productionand the ability to be creative using the least possible quantity of material to achieve the best result thanks to machines that allow us to face the new frontiers of the use of stone in architecture.”Finally, a contribution from the president of the architects, Leopoldo Freyrie, who, remembering his professional experience (he has designed many of the most exclusive Italian fashion boutiques in the world) said, “we have triumphed thanks to the quality of Italian artisans and their skills because marble is not only the material that characterises the brand Carrara but also because the stone is the expression of the Mediterranean culture. Today, after decades of consumption, we must reflect on how to best design considering the replacement of what already exists and the intelligent and creative reuse of materials. It should not be a challenge between man and nature, but a search for balance and design intelligence. Our project RI.U.SO, (sustainable reuse) is based on this philosophy that must become one of the elements of contemporary architecture.