is about providing clear solutions to specific problems. You will
find yourself having to deal with functional and aesthetic issues,
while remaining within set budgets and regulations.
All these considerations are and have always been interdependent.
Technical solutions presuppose a knowledge of materials and their
uses, historically and for different construction purposes.
Some techniques, like traditional marmorino, were very popular in
the past and have survived for centuries because they can offer
in their different forms optimal solutions for diverse weather and
But in most instances, they have not survived the industrialization
of production processes, as they are impossible to mass produce.
During the twentieth century, events such as the increase in population
and post-war reconstruction precluded those techniques which could
not comply to the demands of standardised construction.
Today we build less and better, and with the rise of eco friendly
architecture, which reasserts quality of life as central element
in planning, thinking about quality of materials becomes relevant
again. In addition, in the last few decades, a new sensibility towards
the conservation of architectural heritage has lead to an attempt
to rediscover traditional techniques, the knowledge of which is
essential for its restoration. As far as marmorino is concerned,
in Venice we owe the survival of such art to the efforts in promoting
and preserving trade secrets carried out in the last thirty years
by Mario and Franco Fogliata.
The new global economy, which sees the move of manufacturing processes
to countries with lower productions costs, highlights the need for
Italy to rediscover its vocation for artistic beauty and artesanal
quality (even in construction) in order to create a niche within
international markets, offering goods, skills and know-how unavailable
1° PREMIO RESTRUCTUM TORINO
2010 (la calce nelle finiture e nel restauro)
The building site.
In new builds there is a need for plans to take into consideration
surroundings, landscape, light orientation, urban areas, etc.
In conservation projects, once historical structural and chemical
analyses are carried, adjustments to the new purpose of a building
must be implemented. When the initial stages of site visit and
structural and material surveys are completed, a normal person
may well want to sit with one's head in one's hands and start
to cry. Instead, we have to roll up our sleeves and start work
On a restoration site, planning regulations strongly affect the
work, but a sympathetically restored building, both in Italy and
abroad, adds value and its restoration is no less stimulating
and gratifying than a new build. I have often witnessed the loss
of significant architecture because of the inability of developers
to place original buildings in a new context, when all costs are
equal. Choosing to include in a design traditional materials and
techniques may initially appear too expensive for the average
budget. But it does not have to be that way. Some techniques like
marmorino offer a guarantee of longevity (even under the difficult
environmental conditions in Venice) that can make them more attractive.
Technical qualities of traditional marmorino
Available in a range of colours
Available in a variety of finishes and preparations
service available if required