FINE AND ELEGANT, THE “GRANIGLIA” IS TRENDY AGAIN
We’re renovating our house and we’re facing a “graniglia” floor that we’d like to replace?
I always suggest we consider keeping it. Properly treated, it can return as new and give the environment an added value and a touch of timeless style.
For those who do not know what I’m talking about, the “graniglia“, often identified as terrazzo is one of the first materials born from the recycling of waste marble and stone processing, drowned in a strongly binding mixture of coloured cements with natural oxides. You get a colorful pattern of small fragments, the most disparate shapes and sizes, arranged randomly. (click here to see my intervention low budget restyling with internal preservation of floor in “graniglia”)
The idea of obtaining a surface from the combination of several elements beaten together can be found already since ancient Greece where ground terracotta or river stones were used. Widespread in the most beautiful Italian homes since the Middle Ages, this technique reached its peak in Venice between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, not surprisingly, is often identified as Venetian graniglia. Some time later it was widely used to realize the typical decorations of the Art Nouveau time. In the United States, it caught on in the early 1920s, until it reached the height of its celebrity thanks to its commitment to the realization of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
From the sixties onwards this prestigious craft production vanished to be replaced by industrial flooring. Solid, resistant, durable and easily washable, today it has returned to great trend and not only for the floors, but also for other surfaces, coatings, decorative and furnishing elements such as tables, washbasins, kitchen worktops.
There are many companies that have proposed it in the collections of recent years.
With its refined and elegant character, it is easy to associate the grit with a classic style, but with the right combinations of materials and furnishing elements, you can get lighter and contemporary atmospheres. The pastel colours, the natural woods, the cement effects, the fabric sofas, the metal lamps are perfect, even in copper, gold or bronze finishes.
In Milan we find two examples, in my opinion, worthy of note:
- The Bar Luce at Fondazione Prada designed by Wes Anderson, which was born in the place of an old distillery and offers a contemporary setting inspired by the atmosphere of Milanese cafés of the ’50s and ’60s;
- The Roastery Starbucks in Milan, in the historic Post Office building in Piazza Cordusio, where the designer Liz Muller has tried to employ all the achievements of Italian craftsmanship together with a refined palladian floor (“graniglia” with larger fragments) laid by hand.