Stone Italiana: Pompeii-like cladding at Shanghai Expo 2010.
History and technology made in Italy at Shanghai Expo. The ancient earthenware tradition of Pompeii and paleo-Christian churches is the inspiration for one of the halls in the Urban Best Practices area dedicated to the most futuristic town planning solutions and sustainability world-wide. A faithful reproduction achieved thanks to highly sophisticated re-composition technology applied to a carefully dosed mix of quartz and very pure crushed earthenware. Stone Italiana (Verona) and Sannini Impruneta (Florence) thereby created and patented Cottostone, a cladding that makes it possible to reproduce the natural earthenware of Pompeii in formats and with strength characteristics unavailable in nature. This intuition inspired the revolutionary project for Shanghai 2010, where an impressive 5,500 sq.m. of large Cottostone slabs were used.
Thanks to this technique, architect Mario Occhiuto converted a former industrial building into an avant-garde and sustainable exhibition area. The hall stands out through its structure and cladding that is partly fret-worked and partly intact to reconcile air conditioning and lighting requirements with the architectural choices. The project is part of the Chinese-Italian collaboration programme for environmental protection launched by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and its Chinese counterpart. The experimental aspect is not limited to Shanghai 2010. For more than thirty years, Stone Italiana has created luxury and made-to-measure cladding in colours, outlines and combinations of materials for floors and even for major works world-wide. Examples include projects such as supplies for the metros in Dubai and Naples (by designer Karim Rashid in collaboration with Atelier Mendini) or the 11 thousand sq.m. required for Nuvola Fuksas, the futuristic Congress Centre soon to be completed in Rome. Historic clients of the company based in Zimella near Verona include brands such as Armani, Ferrari in Korea, Nike in New York, Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysées and Swatch in Place Vendôme, not to mention Hugo Boss, Chloé, Lancome, L’Oreal, Pucci, Montblanc, ST Microelectronics, IBM and Microsoft, Sony, Galeries Lafayette and the financial centre of Taiwan.
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