The company was inspired by Carlo Scarpa’s Design for the Olivetti company from the 1950s
Because natural stone can be cut at lower cost than before thanks to new tools such as water jet or diamond saws, new types of terrazzo are also possible. One example is the collection of the Italian company Cancian Pavimenti: one finds marble inlays in rectangles or even polygonal shapes in practically unlimited variations. Even more: „Actually, all the customer’s wishes can be realized”, company’s Flavio Turchet mails us in reply to our questions.
It should be noted that this is actually a classic Terrazzo Veneziano, i.e. a mass with cement as a binding agent, which is applied to a prepared subfloor on the spot and hardens there. „Everything remains handmade,” emphasizes Turchet also with regard to the new products.
However, the spectrum of design possibilities is now almost unlimited – and at affordable prices. It starts with the shapes of the natural stone inlays, continues with the colors of the selected stone types, the color of the granulate or cement and more. The customer can also choose the size of the stone inlays, up to a maximum of 20 x 20 cm. „Customized” is the keyword.
The inspiration for the new decor was the flooring that Carlo Scarpa had created at the end of the 1950s for the Olivetti showroom in Piazza San Marco in Venice: rectangular pieces of marble and Murano glass dominated the picture. Today the museum of the typewriter manufacturer, famous for its design at the time, is located there. Cancian has included the design in his program under the name „Texture”.
Another innovation is the precast terrazzo in tile form. This floor covering, known since ancient times, can thus be used for walls, facades or even ceilings. The maximum size of these tiles is 172.5 x 125 cm with a thickness of 3 cm. The smallest format measures 60 x 60 cm at 2 cm thickness.
The exciting question here, which the company had to ask itself, is about the joints. This is because terrazzo is usually poured without dividing lines; at best, there are strips at larger intervals to compensate for thermal expansion.
It is a well-known fact that the larger the slabs, the more the joints recede into the background. For smaller formats, Cancian recommends that the panels be placed together so that the patterns continue. This is particularly easy to achieve with polygonal inlays.
Finally, „Bespoke” pushes the seemingly endless possibilities beyond the limits of imagination.
The tiles can also significantly reduce the time and cost of installing a terrazzo floor. This makes terrazzo possible even in places where normal pouring and subsequent polishing would not be possible.
Negozio Olivetti (italienisch)
Photos: Cancian Pavimenti / Peter Becker
(11.03.2020, USA: 03.11.2020)