• Emma Wanner

Our Beloved Terrazzo

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

The beauty of the sustainable design, in my opinion, is that it makes one become more forward looking. There is no short cuts and the need of go beyond the usual ideas are pushed. There is a million examples of where this is shown, but to start easy with my first post I want to highlight the now more than ever relevant, terrazzo.

You might have seen this on a million posts on Instagram and all over your Pinterest feed. And what too many seems like a new trend, it is actually a technique that been with us for quite some time. It is usually applied on the floor especially in heavy traffic, public places or in a more decorative way for private residences. It is originally a technique used with cement paste and a colored stone of choice, a lot of times marble. This to describe it very short but there is a whole science behind this technique.

Anyhow this idea of terrazzo has really been pushed lately and it is a great example of taking something already used and make it even more good looking.

DNA Urbano by Stone Italia

DNA Urbano, The DNA of the city, was introduced in 2011 during design week in Milan. The basic concept of the product is to take what is being swept, cleaned up, on the streets. The rest of the DNA Urbano slab is composed of sand, quartz powder, and polyester resin. This last is present in percentages that go from 4% to a maximum of 6.6%, in line with the requirements of the Ecolabel certification. With this concept, they can reduce costs, recover materials, make energy savings and recycle at the same time.

Timber terrazzo sheets, London collection by Foresso

This is a great example of taking the terrazzo idea to a new level. The idea of the timber elevates the look to another level and gives it a warmth traditional terrazzo can’t achieve. They have also introduced an “off cut shop” where the scraps are being sold to a lower price with a limited stock. The company itself really shows transparency, innovation and the idea of caring for what they are producing. To me, it is a beautiful product. Here is how they explain foresso:

“Foresso is a new material composed of timber, wood dust, plaster waste, and 0% VOC resin cast onto an 18mm birch plywood substrate. 85% recycled material, all sourced from within Britain. 0% VOC binder. 78kg of CO2 stored in every sheet. FSC Certified, formaldehyde free Birch plywood from sustainable sources. Made in Britain and finished using a combination of state-of-the-art machinery and hand processes it is a practical sheet material that requires no specialist equipment to alter or install and is available in standard 2.4 x 1.2m sheets. We have put into place strict rules for our supply chain, sourcing only responsibly and ethically. “

Ace and tate store in collaboration with Plasticiet, Antwerp

The third and last example of todays post is a way of using a interesting material and also showing that the brand is reaching for a more sustainable future. The store is from a glasses company called Ace and Tate. The project was made by Platiciet a company founded by designers Marten van Middelkoop and Joost Dingemans, who collects plastic waste and turns it into sheets of material that look like traditional stone such as marble and granite.

"The recycled plastic we used is polyethylene, a very common material that finds many uses in industrial and construction appliances as well as domestic products such as food packaging, kitchen ware and toys," - Dingemans

The plastic was collected locally and nearly 1000 kg was collected for this project. This store to me, just makes you very happy. Both visually but also when you learn about the concept behind. Also for a glasses company, I think this is a major statement that is to many not necessary to do, but very welcomed when it is done.