By LISA KLEIN
Antolini, the Italian purveyor of natural stone, last month opened the doors of its first “stoneroom” in Milan, positioned to be a hub where the building materials and design worlds meet.
There, architects, designers and the public can browse a panoply of high-end selections and see for themselves how stones transform from land to luxe.
“The Antolini MilanoDuomo Stoneroom expresses the desire of the Antolini family to narrate the character of natural materials through a story that starts with the material and continues through design – a physical representation of ‘haute nature,’” said Tom Van Daele, public relations director for the Verona-based company.
The stone specialist’s history goes back 65 years. It was started by Margherita and Luigi Antolini in an old, rented workshop in the Italian hamlet of Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella in 1956.
“Since then, the company has been at the forefront of developments in natural stone processing and new technologies, constantly evolving along the way and never overlooking the importance of quality,” Mr. Van Daele said.
Now run by the Antolini children – Alberto, Alessandra and Francesco – the company never strays from its values of tradition, innovation and the pursuit of beauty.
Stones are carefully selected from quarries across the globe for their exotic colors, patterns and finishes before adding their elegant touch to luxury homes, hotels, restaurants and other commercial spaces.
“We use marbles, quartzites, granites, precious stones, onyx, crystals and soft quartzites sourced from all over the world,” Mr. Van Daele said.
“While each type of stone has their own individual benefits, we believe that each and every stone is a unique expression of Mother Nature, perfect in her creation.”
Hence Antolini’s core value: Haute Nature.
Back in Milan, the Stoneroom showcases a dizzying array of stone and its design applications, from wall facings and floors to islands, countertops, shelving and tables.
There are 1,300 natural materials and 5,000 samples to peruse, and consulting services take a project from the technical aspects of each stone to its aesthetics and potential uses.
The hope is that Stoneroom visitors will appreciate the attention to Antolini’s mission of combining knowledge and discovery, creativity and exceptional design.
“We believe natural stone is a fragment of the stream of life, the heartbeat of the ages, the skin of our planet,” Mr. Daele said.
“Perfect in its peculiarities, it is asymmetrical, rough, irregular, incomplete and imbalanced,” he said. “It is purity in its most perfect form – design, colors and patterns handed to us by history.”
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