Building on its virality at Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this year, marble made an equally strong statement at the London Design Festival. Facilitated by contemporary manufacturing technology, projects demonstrated versatile applications in everything from experimental clocks to implausibly delicate lighting design.
Alongside the familiar tile and worktop manufacturers at 100% Design, new British label Frassk launched a collection of marble sinks by designer Paul Crofts that make use of the company's 5-axis milling machine. "The residential market here in London and worldwide is picking up and the result is that more designers want to specify marble," says fair director Fraser Lovell.
Also at 100% Design, Portuguese marble specialist TCC Whitestone showed a range of products combining stone with materials including wood and steel. Asked why marble’s popularity is on the rise, a spokesperson for the company explained: “Architects and designers are more aware of the need to use natural materials that make an ecological as well as aesthetic statement.”
At his East London showroom, designer Lee Broom presented Nouveau Rebel, a range of marble products including lights with diffusers made from hollowed out Carrara marble. A light source inside illuminates the stone's veined surface from behind. "I wanted to create contemporary products that use the material in new ways whilst referencing 80's styling and traditional production methods," says Broom.
One of the more unusual marble products on show was a clock created by Italian studio Formafantasma as part of a collection of timepieces for British brand Established & Sons. Made from a disc of marble split into an outer ring and inner circle, the passing minutes were marked by a pronounced vein running across the central part, which rotates 360 degrees over the course of an hour.