Used extensively in architecture and design, natural stone may be the symbol of ultra traditional, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be modern or immortal, whatever the period. When mixed and matched with other materials, the possibilities of where to incorporated are endless-it’s no guess why designers not only enjoy experimenting with it, but also adding a contemporary spin to when going about creating their collections. We have picked for you a bouquet of such examples that marry natural stone with brass, bronze, stainless steel, and resin.
Feeding on a valuable story, the design process of the “Fragment Series” is based on the unused disposal of South Korea’s marble pieces, where the material is imported from abroad and there is no marble resource. The project, which was put forward by designers Hea-Kyoung and Jung-Ki from the FICT design studio to solve the industrial waste problem, feeds on the concept of exalting the value of marble and sustainability. In agreement with a marble company, the designers who combine the marble with the resin material aim to Show the unique beauty of the natural state of marble. For this purpose, a collection has emerged that reveals the natural beauty of marble raw and makes it functional by combining it with crystal resin material. The collection, which consists of various everyday furniture such as stools, chairs, coffee tables and trays, reveals an example of solving industrial problems with design.
“HalfHalf” is an attempt by Jinsik Kim to experiment with different potentials of natural stone and stainless steel, which have a shared history of human being’s making things. The collection also seeks out a timeless approach to design by contrasting the pureness of metal and stone. Each design reinterprets blocks of marble into functional pieces of furniture -tables, side tables, and stools; some square, others circular; some high, others low- that are sculptures in their own right. Each piece juxtaposes the heavy material (marble) against a light one (bent stainless steel) in which the mirror-like surface of the latter reflects off of it the texture of the former. Kims’s stresses that his use of simple geometric forms become the functional sculpture to stimulate people’s curiosity and imagination.
Marrying marble with metal, Belgian designer Ben Storms’s In Hale collection, containing cushion-like coffee tables and wall pieces, first made its debut at the Collectible Design Fair in Brussels this past year. Storms wanted his collection to give the illusion that each heavy mass of marble has a light state of being. Each block of stone had been recovered from the waste of a quarry. To create the inflatable table masses, Storms used a hydroforming technique. He wanted to bring together two contrasting elements by applying new, innovative techniques to an old, traditional piece of marble. The technique saw two pieces of metal sheet positioned on top of the marble surface and injected with high-pressure air. Weighing between 200 and 900 kilograms, each rectangular marble slab is placed on an inflated metal support. The result: Functional coffee tables.
La Table brings out the unique texture of natural stone by encasing it in ocean blue resin. Born out of two years of rigorous research, the rectangular tables were created from stones straight from the Caribbean in order to give it the appearance of a shoreline. In terms of concept, first, travertine is shaped into an architectural topography, then, it is cast in bespoke inclusion resin. A change in the stone-resin ratio gives some tables a more opaque look, and others a more transparent one. The collection is result of the collaborative effort of Alexandre Chaplin and Patrick Lapierre. They were inspired by the idea of gazing at an island buried the sea from an airplane window.
Marble vs. Bronze
Marble vs. Bronze is the brainchild of Chilean design studio GT2P and the Friedman Benda Gallery in New York City. The collection of tables made their debut at the Design Miami Festival back in 2015. As the name suggests, each design consists of a marble top and a bronze frame. The designers began with the surface of each marble top by obtaining a gradient map of its veins through digitization. They use that information to determine which paths they are going to cut in the marble with a water jet, only then to fill the table in with bronze and set it in a bronze structure. The result is a table with a random material composition that stands atop minimalist bronze feet for structural support. The designers state that they had experimented with a numerous material combinations during the creative process that, when they finally arrived at bronze and marble, they found harmony, and they were able to capture the line between tradition and modernity.