Design: Unusual ideas for material and design

(March 2011) Going unusual ways sets Italian company Segheria La Perla apart from its competitors. One example is its creation „bi.materia“ in which marble is combined with resin. But the resin does not serve as an adhesive in the usual manner. Rather, as the name „bi.materia“ implies, it comes into its own as a natural material ((Design: Nicola Giardina Papa). This way plates of stone can alternate with bright colours or stone tiles can contrast with different coloured joints. Two types of resin with different appearances are in the program presently.

Other examples are Designer Raffaello Galiotto’s bathroom ideas. In „Strip“ three different basic elements are combined in such a way that light and dark stripes run parallel across the floor or along walls. To maintain continuity, matching sinks are available. A special construction integrated in the legs of the base ensures that lines match. This stringency is maintained in the shower as well as for the drain, which is integrated under a matching cover.

But despite such avant-garde products, La Perla can nevertheless be defined as conventional. But CEO Renato Cavaliere, whose father was the founder of the company nearly 50 years ago, is quick to point out that the corporate success is measured by different criteria today: „Entire design projects are the order of the day, not merely random slabs.“

Consequently he markets the elements which his designers create in complete project packages, e.g. a finished bathroom – no single pieces off the rack. To facilitate completion of larger projects the company employs 2 technicians among its 22 employees, who are entrusted with everything from design to completion of planning. The elements are built in the Alpine Chiampo Valley.

Take for example the creation „Orizzonte“ („Horizons“) conceived for bathrooms: here a single line crosses the room, intersection of heaven and earth – light and dark. Here, too, emphasis was on detail: as the sinks are beneath the horizon at earth level, so to speak, they were made of 14 cm thick stone slabs – „We wanted to use really massive stone“, said CEO Cavaliere. The tiles are 80 x 40 cm and 1.4 cm thick throughout.

Finally: next to these and other creations in natural stone like „Delta“ and „Listone“, which are subsumed under the general term „marmoin“, there is also „marmotrend“: here the resin is used in the conventional manner as a glue the result: artificial or compound stone.

Segheria La Perla

Raffaello Galiotto

Photos: Segheria La Perla