Marmoreal is an engineered marble for architectural surfaces by the British designer Max Lamb.
Marmoreal is offered in two colourways, one with a white background the other black. Each version is composed of four classical Italian marbles and is a material exploration that celebrates the individual qualities of these stones while acknowledging that their combination leads to something even more compelling. Suitable for interior and exterior architectural surfaces, this large-aggregate, pre-cast marble terrazzo offers an original material language with strong visual values. It skilfully balances fifteenth-century craft traditions with modern engineered-stone technologies. The word ‘marmoreal’ means ‘marble-like’; this Marmoreal is composed of approximately 95 percent marble and 5 percent polyester resin binders.
Formats & Finishing
Marmoreal is available in a range of standard dimensions and finishes that suit the randomness of the material yet give the impression of a continuous surface. The smaller 30 × 30 cm tiles provide the flexibility to install in small spaces in a consistent grid. The generous 60 × 60 cm tiles and 305 × 124 cm slabs allow greater opportunities for customisation. Blocks measuring 305 × 124 × 85 cm are available on special request. We offer a honed finish, which gives a perfectly matte, natural expression of the marbles, or a polished finish, which gives a more saturated, reflective surface.
Suitable for interior architectural surfaces, Marmoreal can be used in a range of applications from immersive bathrooms and kitchens to impactful flooring or wall cladding solutions.
Kitchen for a London apartment, 2016
Bathroom for a London townhouse, 2015
Architecture and design, Waldo Works
Bathroom for a Paris apartment, 2015
Maison Kitsuné, Filles Du Calvaire, Paris, 2015
Architecture and design, Charles-Edmond Henry and Nicolas Dorval-Bory Architectes.
Pair of bathrooms in a New York residence, 2015
Design, RP Miller
Kitchen worktop for a London apartment, 2016
Design, Play Associates
Bathroom for a Laurel Canyon, California residence, 2014
Design, Carter Design
Lamb’s ongoing Quarry series was the starting point for this conversation. These sculptural works are characterized by their raw appearance, generous scale and honestly celebrate the qualities of a given stone’s natural shape, texture, and even its historical context. We were curious to see what kind of stone Max would create, how his pragmatic design logic might transfer and if he works differently with a stone he creates opposed to one he takes from the earth.
We researched different man-made stone technologies and assessed which processes provided the most opportunity to produce a desired result. A thorough survey of the existing products, past and present, was conducted to ensure originality.
After settling on making a precast terrazzo, extensive compositional studies followed and Lamb arrived at the idea of using large marble rocks as the bulk of the recipe to emphasize the inherent stoniness of human-made stone. This approach is in contrast to the typically small, speckled pieces of aggregate typical of terrazzo.
Rosso Verona, Giallo Mori, and Verde Alpi are the three Italian marbles featured in Marmoreal. Bianco Verona is used to create the white-background version, and Grigio Carnico is used for the black-background version. All of these marbles are natural materials and thus vary from batch to batch. The variations are part of the inherent beauty of natural stone and ensure that each piece of Marmoreal is entirely unique.
Rosso Verona, a red nodular limestone of the Jurassic period from northern Italy, is the prevailing stone in much of Veronese classical architecture. The entire city of Verona feels as if it is made from it. Its visual quality is the most predictable of the three featured stones, with colours ranging from earthy reds like dry clay to more saturated brownish reds characterised by fine circular patterns and stylolitic veins.
Giallo Mori is a bright, ochre-yellow marble from Trentino-Alto Adige, with both light and dark veins and the occasional small white quartz patches. The colour can range from pale yellow to dark Dijon mustard. The texture is often flat but can sometimes contain small white speckles that resemble a mass of microbes.
Verde Alpi is a traditional marble from Valle d’Aosta, known for its intense green colour and contrasting white quartz veins. The most varied of the three marbles, its particles can have a high quartz content, making the stone a glassy white or emerald green, or an absence of quartz, making it nearly black.
Bianco Verona makes up the background matrix for Marmoreal White. This traditional Veronese marble is characterised by its opacity and textural flatness, perfect attributes to serve as a canvas for the three primary marbles. Bianco Verona can vary in colour from off-white to cream, pink, or grey. In the Marmoreal development phase, it became clear that this stone provided better contrast than its more famous counterparts, Carrara and Botticino.
Grigio Carnico is the background for Marmoreal Black. This dark grey to black limestone from Alpi Carniche contains some pronounced white and grey veining, but on the smaller scale used to create a matrix, these qualities are homogenised and give the appearance of a galactic scenescape.
Terrazzo’s sustainable roots date back to fifteenth-century Venice, where craftspeople used waste materials—for instance local stone off-cuts and chips from the construction of palazzos—to make decorative mosaic-like flooring solutions. Eventually they began introducing glass, metals, and even concrete, all while consistently using local-material waste. Marmoreal acknowledges this history by using waste stone from Italian quarries, most of it locally sourced.
Marmoreal is a large-aggregate, pre-cast terrazzo. To make it, marble rocks of mixed dimension are combined in large industrial mixers with a polyester resin binder. This mix is then poured into a 305 × 124 × 85 cm block mould, and a cast block is formed using a combination of pressure, vibration, and vacuum. This method of making, while precise in its formulation, ensures a random combination of marble elements, so that no two pieces or sections of Marmoreal are ever the same.
Once the casting is complete, the block is removed from the mould and cures for an additional two weeks before it is cut. The resulting 10 metric tonnes of stone can be treated quite similarly to any other block of marble or stone. Blocks are sliced into standard-dimension slabs and tiles, adhering to the most economical and least wasteful use of the material. The blocks can also be CNC milled into large, curvaceous architectural features, furnishings, or objects. Bespoke thicknesses and dimensions are available upon request.
Marmoreal is Greenguard Gold certified. The Greenguard certification program assures that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, creating healthy interiors. Greenguard Gold certification is even stricter, considering additional safety factors to account for sensitive individuals (such as children and the elderly), and ensuring that products are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and health care facilities.