by Max Lamb
Marmoreal is an engineered marble devised by British designer Max Lamb. Lamb’s recent (but extensive) history of working in stone, and his steadfast interest in materials, brought the designer to examine engineered stones such as terrazzo and question how he would design a similar material consistent with his practice.
The pieces from the designer’s ongoing Quarry series are generously scaled and celebrate the qualities of a given stone’s colour, texture, and even its historical context. After extensive material investigations and compositional studies for Marmoreal, Lamb arrived at the idea of using large marble pieces as the bulk of the mix to emphasise the inherent stoniness of man-made stone, rather than the usual small pieces of aggregate typical to terrazzo. He selected the following four Veronese marbles for the final recipe; Rosso Verona, Giallo Mori, Verde Alpi and Bianco Verona.
The word Marmoreal means ‘real marble’, but can be used to describe objects or materials that look like real marble but aren’t necessarily so. Our Marmoreal is composed of approximately 95 per cent marble and 5 per cent polyester resin binders to make for a stronger, less porous and more durable stone than natural marbles. This engineering allows us to offer an original material language with a high visual value that skilfully balances tradition with modernism using Max Lamb’s signature approach.
Marmoreal was realised in close collaboration with Santamargherita, one of the great pioneers in the engineered stone industry. The factory is located in Volargne, Italy, fittingly on Via del Marmo, which translates as Road of Marble. This area just outside of Verona and its outlying provinces form the epicentre of the Italian marble quarrying industry and the bedrock for a storied history with the art and design worlds that continues today.
The Marmoreal Elements
This red nodular limestone of the Jurassic period is from Northern Italy. Rosso Verona has been extensively quarried and as a result goes under many different names; it can be referred to as Rosso Sant’Ambrogio, Verona Red or Red Verona, Rojo Verona, Rosso Verona Asiago Marble, and the serious sounding Nembro Rosato. Its colour ranges from light to dark red and is characterised by fine circular patterns and stylolitic veins.
A bright, ochre-yellow marble from Tyrol, a bordering region of Northern Italy, that has both light and dark sinuous veins with the occasional small white patches. Cross sections will often appear flat and bright, providing Marmoreal White with its extreme graphic quality.
This traditional marble from Torino is also commonly referred to as Verde Alpi Cesana Marble. It was selected for Marmoreal because of its intense green color, contrasting white quartz elements and the very uniform, elegant light veins.
Used as the background of Marmoreal White, this traditional Veronese marble is characterised by its opacity and textural flatness. Slightly off-white in colour, Bianco Verona can vary in shade from cream to pink and grey. This stone provided the best contrast when compared to its more famous counterparts, Carrera and Botticino, to support the strong colours in the other three marbles.