Gabriele Salvatori and Raffaele Salvoldi: “’Top grade’ or ‘second grade’ matter does not exist“

Raffaele Salvoldi and Salvatori.Raffaele Salvoldi and Salvatori.

Company and cinematographer push the upcycling of leftover pieces (waste) from the processing of marble to an end

The Italian company Salvatori was perhaps the first to take up the issue of waste recycling in the natural stone business: in 2011, it came out with a new product called Lithoverde, in which leftover pieces from production were re-glued together to make slabs for dining tables. At the time, no one had thought about recycling natural stone. Now, at Milan Design Week 2023, the company, together with cinematographer Raffaele Salvoldi, showed a completely new idea, obvious, simple, and yet so wonderful: as in a wooden construction set or as in the old metal construction sets, many standard elements could be assembled into objects.

The material here was Carrara marble from the company’s quarries, and the small individual parts were neither plugged nor screwed nor glued, but simply placed on top of each other.

Raffaele Salvoldi and Salvatori.

Raffaele Salvoldi is a specialist in such creations. He discovered it with small wooden plates, having already had success as a photographer and in the film business. The video at the bottom of this page shows some of his previous installations and finally a stretch with wooden plates standing vertically, where one knocks over the other and the last one finally collapses a floor-to-ceiling column.

Now for the first time he worked with marble and this time the columns were 3 m high. One of his creations had been placed in a mirror cabinet by the Salvatori company during Milan Design Week (FuoriSalone) in their showroom at Via Solferino 11, giving it a very special effect (see photos above).

Raffaele Salvoldi and Salvatori.Raffaele Salvoldi and Salvatori.

The objects on the corner via Palermo / Largo Treves were just as fascinating: we immediately felt invited to reach into the kit, but then let it go, because we would quickly run out of patience for the seemingly endless stacking and the exact squaring of the pieces.

As a special feature, Raffaele Salvoldi had brought the design for 10 limited edition lamps.

Company CEO Gabriele Salvatori outlines the material concept behind this upcycling “’Top grade’ or ‘second grade’ matter does not exist, and through Raffaele’s works we want to restore dignity to every fragment of the material.“

And further, “Instead, it’s up to us to be smart and use each element that nature provides in the best way possible.“

Of course, this also begs the question of how much it will cost to cut the elements to size and whether they might one day be purchased as a kit…


Raffaele Salvoldi

Photos: Salvatori / Peter Becker

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(05.06.2023, USA: 06.05.2023)