Architecture: Bathing in a noble ambiance

(May 2012) Polarblau (Polar Blue) is the name of the Jura-Marble variety used to decorate this bathroom in Germany. Nomen est omen as the stone’s color lends a distinct coolness in appearance – perhaps desired by the client to counter the heat of a relaxing hot bath. Compare this to another type of Jura-Marble.

The stone was provided by Gungolding’s Juma Company situated in Southern Germany. The company looks back on an 80-year-old family tradition and carries the name of the stone quarried – not marble per se but rather a type of limestone with a high density of fossil inclusions. These are historic geologic remnants of the Jura-period when dinosaurs ruled the world and seashells during millions of years sank to the bottom of the oceans.

Note: as these sedimentary layers became thicker heat and pressure built up on the underlying strata they were caked together to form what we know today as limestone. If this limestone passed the same cycle again it turned into marble. Then the fossils disappeared as the material was amalgamated.

The company has meanwhile expanded its range of products beyond local stone and offers a world-wide assortment. „Our marks of distinction are quality and premium service“, according to CEO Michael Holzäpfel, „true for big projects and small ones like bathrooms or kitchen counter-tops alike“.


A bathroom in a private home in Verona, where Green Verde Fantastico granite adorns the floors and is marked not only by strong colours but also by distinct veins throughout. Setting the tiles is a challenge mastered by Litho Project Company, also responsible for planning and involved in choosing the stone.

The shower pan is made of Giallo Atlantide limestone and was custom-made for this bathroom. The surface is anti-skid. The same stone was used for the scuffing rib of the wall and extends upward to the walls in the shower cubicle.

Litho Project is involved in a wide variety of projects ranging from flooring in shopping malls to the bar onboard a yacht and down to very unspectacular jobs for private home owners. Why the company chose natural stone is explained on the company’s web page: „We wanted a life-time investment“, said one young couple.

Litho Project

The following bath was completed in a home on the Island of Palma de Mallorca using White Macael Marble with bush-hammered surface.

One might have expected a polished stone – but to understand the reason behind the decision, have look at the terrace.

It opens to a grand view over the sea – to blend in with the natural environment, the architect preferred bush-hammered surfaces to the polished, almost artificial-looking ones.

Around the swimming pool bush-hammered surfaces prevents slipping too – one more, pragmatic reason for the choice.

Cleaning such surfaces is not a problem according to Mármoles Luis Sánchez: all that is needed is a strong water jet. The stone on the bathroom counter-tops is sealed. The flooring is bush-hammered. Mármoles’ Luis Sánchez won over 3,000 m² of marble from his quarries and installed the stone on site.

Mármoles Luis Sánchez

Fundación Marca Macael

Photos: Companies