Run-up to Marmomac 2019: and the winner of the Icon Award is…

Natural stone is naturally iconic.

Leaving aside the masculine aspects of marble, Marmomac Icon

Award 2018 was assigned to “Marea” by designer Elena Salmistraro; this work expresses full awareness of gender and an identity – in this case feminine – that is rarely associated with a universe of materials characterised by heaviness, roughness and struggling forces. Values that we see in the forefront today, through “Marea”, in the communication campaign for Marmomac 2019.


Among the prizes given every year during the event, the Icon Award is intended by traditional to hand over the baton to the next edition. The formula of this award envisages the identification – from all the installations on display in The Italian Stone Theatre – the work that, thanks to its intrinsic symbolic value, can embody this iconic meaning. Play Panca won the first Icon Award in 2016:   this artefact designed by Denis Santachiara for the Costa Paolo Company achieved considerable inventive value on a typological scale, whereby the suggestion of Alpine horns defined an element with a strong urban destination. The following year saw the Icon Award 2017 go to Drap, a work by Paolo Ulian created by Silvestri Marmi, where lightness resembling drapery transfigures a defect arising from mechanical processing into an aesthetic quality.


In 2018, the jury – comprising by Cristiano Seganfreddo, Chiara Alessi and Veronica Gaido – unanimously assigned the Icon Award to “Marea”, emphasising in the motivation how this work interprets stone material with courage and skill in a complex item such a bath plus sink, achieving a powerful project from an iconic and mature point of view in design terms. “Classical reflections, post-modern accents, contemporary languages and primitive figurative elements reflection: these characteristics identify the refinement of the formal design, achieved thanks to the expertise and technical support of the companies involved in the project.

The Work

“I approached this project as if it were a painting, using the solid part – marble – as a canvas and the liquid part – water – as the protagonist of the painting itself.” This is how Elena Salmistraro described her meeting with the world of natural stone, a new material in her personal experience as a designer. “I worked like a sculptor from another era; I found myself strolling around the quarry seeing these large masses of marble and imagining which objects they might be hiding: a procedure that is the exact opposite of what I usually apply.” “Marea” is a kind of painting on a book-match slab of marble: the overlap between the stripes of Arabescato Orobico and the geometric matrix of the inlays gives rise to a refined decoration, inspired by two half-moons. The same decoration is then transferred from the marble panel to the sink and the bath whose simple, almost rigid forms contrast with the natural expressiveness of the material.

Icon Award 2018


Designer: Elena Salmistraro
Production: Vicentina Marmi
Machinery: Donatoni Macchine
Material by Cave Gamba

Photo: Luca Morandini

Marea - Intervista ad Elena Salmistraro e Vicentina Marmi


You might also like