Trade Show Coverage / International Coverage

Marmomacc increases global reach in Verona

December 1, 2011
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For the first time in its 46-year history, there were more foreign exhibitors and visitors than Italian at Marmomacc, the most important annual trade fair for the global stone industry in Verona, Italy. The internationalization of the show has been going on for some time, but this year’s event confirmed this trend, registering nearly 29,000 foreign trade visitors (an 8% increase over last year) out of a total of 56,000, coming from 130 countries. The same is true for exhibitors of stone, machinery and related products. Of the 1,518 companies exhibiting this year, 849 were from outside of Italy, representing 61 countries.

“This is a very important result, especially in times like these of major difficulties for the European and international economy, and it demonstrates that exhibitions are one of the few engines entirely at the service of the real economy,” said Ettore Riello, President of Veronafiere, which organizes Marmomacc. “International events are an extraordinary platform for our companies. This is why stronger collaboration and alliance with all institutions is vital in order to provide further opportunities for this sector.”

A total of 30 different trade delegations were among the visitors to Marmomacc, and organizers have made a continuing effort to bolster the event’s international status. “Alongside initiatives such as Saudi Stone Tech in Riyadh next October and partnership with the largest American event in the sector — StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas in Las Vegas in January 2012 — we are already working to create new business opportunities,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO & Director General of Veronafiere. “[This is also the case] in other countries in Europe, the Arabian Peninsula and the BRIC area by 2014.”

Once again, Marmomacc served as a veritable “fashion show” of materials being introduced to the international marketplace for the very first time. Visitors saw new varieties of granite, marble, onyx and other materials. Of note, many exotic materials were showcased at Marmomacc — and they came from locations around the world. These included semi-precious stones as well as backlit onyx panels.

There were also a range of quartz surfacing innovations at Marmomacc, including products with one-of-a-kind surface textures, recycled content and a distinctive stone look.

Also of note, many stone producers at Marmomacc showcased traditional materials that were extracted from newly developed quarry sites. This was of particular importance with regard to materials that have become harder to source in recent years.

Stone could be found in a broad range of formats at Marmomacc, including slabs, tiles, mosaics, blocks and architectural works such as customized cladding and three-dimensional pieces. (Editor’s Note: Please see “The ‘Stone Fashion Show’ at Marmomacc” for a photo roundup of some of the specific stone materials that were on display in Verona.)

In general, comments by exhibitors and visitors confirmed that the sector is experiencing an up-and-down period, with some markets enjoying strong growth (China, India, Brazil and Turkey, for example) and others still remaining stagnant.

“For us, Marmomacc has always been a very important showcase,” said Massimo Serni of Henraux, one of the industry’s longest-running firms from Carrara, Italy. “We believe that Italian quality and creativity pay off in the end; slabs alone do not take you very far; you need a brand. The international market is fundamental for us, but we are proud of being Italian and have decided to keep our company here, since we also have social responsibilities. Having said this, India, China and Arab countries are very important markets for us, on a par with the U.S. Above all, it would be a good idea for Europeans to impose more reasonable payment times, especially now that the banking system is tighter.”

Alessandra Malagoli of Budri also cited the U.S. market, particularly for cut-to-size work. “Marmomacc is the reference exhibition for us, even though our products go far beyond marble,” she said. “We are now focusing on the U.S.; we have been involved in two hotels in Las Vegas, where there is very strong demand for design. Everything we have implemented over the last three years with [designer] Patricia Urquiola is highly appreciated.”

A global perspective of the American market was offered by Tomas Brolin, General Manager of Fratelli Testi. “International clients also seek ‘Made in Italy’ as a kind of compulsory route,” he said. “We can no longer think in terms of mass products, but [rather] high-quality, niche output. There is definitely strong interest in this sphere. It is difficult to define the future of the market. For example, on the one hand, the U.S. market seems to be dead; yet on the other, it is showing signs of vitality. It all depends on the products. We have a company in Brazil, and despite the fact that this has been one of the worst years for real estate in the U.S., we are experiencing our best year in terms for exports from Brazil to America. We have decided to work with top-of-the-range materials, and this is working very well.”

In terms of stoneworking machinery, exhibiting companies also introduced new innovations at Marmomacc. These included technology for the countertop fabrication sector, such as CNC stoneworking centers and computerized bridge sawing machinery.

There was also positive feedback from machinery producers: “Marmomacc this year went better than last year,” said Marco Belotti of Pedrini. “There were many professional visitors, and we encountered considerable interest in multi-wire cutting machines.”

Technological developments at Marmomacc not only covered machinery, but also new treatments for stone, sealers and other protectants — some of which allow for the use of stone materials that might not otherwise be possible.

Marmomacc’s global outreach makes it the ideal venue for the ongoing dialogue between international stone associations on the development of a sustainable stone certification standard for the U.S. market. During the show, the U.S. Natural Stone Council provided an update to interested companies and associations on the progress of the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard. The standard is expected to be finalized in early 2012. Only stone processed in or imported into the U.S. would be eligible for certification.

The next edition of Marmomacc will be held from September 26 to September 29, 2012.

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Outstanding displays of stone in Verona

As usual, design was highlighted throughout Marmomacc, providing stone trade professionals an opportunity to see new applications developed using

the latest stoneworking technologies. The “Marmomacc Meets Design” (MMD) project inspired some of the more interesting and innovative booth designs. Now in its fifth year, MMD 2011 paired leading international designers with stone processors. The pairings focused on this year’s theme — “mutable spirit” — in developing everything from objects to design modules to entire booth designs.

Two of the MMD booths were also among the winners of Marmomacc’s 2011 “Best Communicator Award.” The award is presented to the booths with the best visual approaches to conveying the “richness and expressive potential of stone.” Citco and designer Pietro Ferruccio Laviani were selected by the jury for the interaction between light and material, which created spectacular effects within Citco’s booth.

Designer Raffaello Galliotto collaborated with another winner, Lithos Design, to create a modular component that worked both as a simple interior design object and material for booth construction. The jury recognized that this module effectively expressed the architectural potential of the material.

Three other companies, not associated with MMD, also received Best Communicator Awards. Henraux, whose booth was designed by U.S. architect Craig Copeland, received an award for the highly elaborate sculptures exhibited at the booth, as well as the overall booth design, whose horizontal lines helped to highlight the stone materials used and showcase their intrinsic qualities.

Franchi Umberto Marmi, whose booth was designed by an in-house team in collaboration with Michele Cazzani, was selected for the use of volumes and surfaces with a limited color spectrum to generate an unexpected multitude of effects and spatial solutions.

The fifth Best Communicator Award was presented to the Botticino quarry workers’ cooperative, whose booth was designed by architect Ivan Tognazzi. The award was presented for a design approach based on a few simple elements with a strong chromatic impact, which were used to attract attention to a single material. The material is worked repeatedly into the design as a “metaphorical business card” in the form of a useful product sample.

Two additional booth designs — both part of Marmomacc Meets Design — received Honorable Mentions from the jury: Budri with Patricia Urquiola and Pibamarmi with Snohetta. Other designer/stone company pairings for MMD 2011 included: Setsu and Shinobu Ito with Grassi Pietre; Michele De Lucchi and Angelo Micheli with Stone Italiana; Flavio Albanese with Margraf; Marco Piva with the Region of Apulia; Philippe Nigro with Fratelli Testi; Giuseppe Fallacara, the Polytechnic Institute of Bari, and the University of Budapest Architecture Faculty with Reneszánsz Köfaragó Ztr; and Riccardo Blumer and Donata Tomasina with Trentino Pietra, the association representing the natural stone sector of the Italian province of Trento.

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Among the design initiatives at Marmomacc, the “Marmomacc Meets Design” (MMD) paired leading international designers with stone processors. Two of the MMD booths were also among the winners of Marmomacc’s 2011 “Best Communicator Award” for visual approaches to conveying the “richness and expressive potential of stone.” Citco and designer Pietro Ferruccio Laviani were selected by the jury for the interaction between light and material, which created spectacular effects within Citco’s booth. 

 

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Designer Raffaello Galliotto collaborated with another Best Communicator Award winner, Lithos Design, to create a modular component that worked both as a simple interior design object and material for booth construction. 

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Three other companies, not associated with MMD, also received Best Communicator Awards. Henraux, whose booth was designed by U.S. architect Craig Copeland, received an award for the highly elaborate sculptures exhibited at the booth, as well as the overall booth design.

 

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Franchi Umberto Marmi, whose booth was designed by an in-house team in collaboration with Michele Cazzani, was selected for the use of volumes and surfaces with a limited color spectrum to generate an unexpected multitude of effects and spatial solutions.

 

 

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The award-winning Botticino quarry workers’ booth was designed by architect Ivan Tognazzi, and it features product samples on the perimeter of the booth.

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Marmomacc Stone Academy offers hands-on education for architects

The 13th edition of the Marmomacc Stone Academy’s continuing education program on stone design for architects reflected the show’s international dimension.

A total of 33 architects from the U.S., Australia, Canada, the U.K., India, South Africa and Singapore were selected to attend this year’s program. The architects spent four days learning about design with natural and engineered stone, earning more than 20 AIA credits, including 14 hours of lectures by leading stone-sector professionals. Participants visited a quarry and processing facilities in Chiampo, took part in guided architectural tours of Vicenza and Verona and completed their week in Verona with a goodbye dinner at beautiful Villa Rizzardi in the Valpolicella hills.

Marmomacc’s continuing education program is co-sponsored by Stone World and recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Australian Institute of Architects and the South African Institute of Architects.

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Concurrent with the trade fair in Verona, Italy, Marmomacc Stone Academy’s continuing education program on stone design for architects included 33 professionals from the U.S. as well as other nations. The first stop on the tour was a stone quarry in Chiampo, Italy, where the architects were educated on the extraction process. 

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Architects also visited modern stoneworking facilties to learn how blocks are processed into slabs and finished products.

 

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The “Stone Fashion Show” at Marmomacc

As usual, stone suppliers from Italy and around the world relied on the Marmomacc fair to showcase some of the latest stone materials to the international marketplace. The following is a look at just some of the stone materials on display in Verona.

 

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Antolini Luigi: Precioustone Collection

www.antolini.it 

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Antolini Luigi: Earth Glitter

www.antolini.it 

   

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Bayyurt Marble: Cream limestone

www.bayyurtmarble.com 

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Belenco: Sahara Beige quartz surfacing

www.belenco.com 

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Bruno Zanet: Backlit stone

www.brunozanet.com 

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Bramagran: Hawaii

www.bramagran.com.br 

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Caesarstone: The Motivo Collection in a range of textures

www.CaesarStoneUS.com 

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Cajugram: Xango Red

www.cajugram.com 

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Decolores: Cristalo

www.decolores.com.br 

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Dimpomar: Rosal Fleuri limestone

www.dimpomar.com

 

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Franken-Schotter: Goldberg Honed Jura limestone

www.franken-schotter.de 

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Granitex: African Ivory from the African Selection

www.granitex.it 

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Itapoama: Lumen

www.itapoama.com.br 

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Itapoama: Winter Valley

www.itapoama.com.br 

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JMS: Jura Nurbrown

www.juramarble.com 

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Levantina: Lennon

www.levantina.com 

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Lundhs: Antique

www.lundhs.no 

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Mag-Ban: Alpinus

www.magban.com.br 

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Magnitos: Cygnus

www.magnitos.com.br 

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Marbrasa: Via Lactea

www.marbrasa.com.br 

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Marcolini Marmi: Zebrino

www.marcolini.it 

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Mineracao Guidoni: Delicatus White

www.guidoni.com.br 

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Pokarna: Granite from a new quarry source

www.pokarna.com 

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Primestone: Black onyx from Indonesia

www.primestone.ca

 

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PRP Exports: Kashmir White granite

www.prpexports.com 

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Rock of Ages: Bethel White

www.rockofages.com 

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Rock of Ages: Salisbury Pink

www.rockofages.com 

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Santo Antonio: Betularie

www.santonio.com.br 

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Tab India: Rossette granite

www.tabindia.com 

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Tracomal: Sea Pearl Quartzite

www.tracomal.com 

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Vitoria Stone: Sinatra

www.vitoriastone.com.br 

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V.M. Kaldorf: Jura limestone with a chiseled-sandblasted-brushed-finish

www.vm-kaldorf.de

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