Marmomacc 2008 took place in the historic
stoneworking center of Verona, Italy, from October 2 to 5, and it drew
exhibitors and attendees from around the world.
Marmomacc, the leading international trade fair
for the stone industry, recently celebrated its 43rd edition in Verona, Italy,
from October 2 to 5, 2008. And the final results indicate that the annual event
was a success, reports VeronaFiere, the show’s
“This edition - despite the world economic
situation - went far beyond our expectations, confirming the exhibition as a
vital appointment for trade operators in the natural stone field - from
machinery to instrumental products, from blocks to more complex processing, as
well as for the construction sector and the contract field,” said Luigi
Castelletti, President of VeronaFiere.
The event included 1,536 exhibitors from 54
countries and nearly 830,000 square feet of net exhibition area, with both
indoor and outdoor spaces.
More than 63,000 visitors - a total of 44%
international from 120 countries (more than 50% if only the first three
“trade-only” days are considered) - attended Marmomacc 2008. The exhibition,
which encompassed approximately 830,000 square feet, also included 1,536
exhibitors from 54 countries.
photo courtesy of
Granitex - Stone could be found in a variety of formats at
Marmomacc 2008, including blocks.
International delegations who attended the fair
in collaboration with ICE (the Italian Trade Commission) and other partners
hailed from Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Switzerland, Great
Britain, France, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Australia, Canada, Turkey, India,
Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Oman, Peru, South
Africa, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.
photo courtesy of Marmi Bruno Zanet- A
broad range of exotic materials were on display, including translucent, backlit
Those in attendance had the opportunity to view
the latest stone products and technologies. Exhibitors displayed large slabs
and blocks of granite, marble, limestone, travertine and onyx - quarried in
countries around the world. In addition to the more traditional materials, many
types of exotics were also on display. Moreover, large equipment for stone
fabrication and quarrying were prominently showcased at the exhibition as well
as stone maintenance and installation products.
photo courtesy of Tekmar- Slabs of white marble
appeared to be of particular interest at this year’s edition of Marmomacc.
Marmomacc Meets Design
Through the years, Marmomacc has developed a
number of initiatives to foster relationships between stone suppliers and the
architecture and design community. This year, the “Marmomacc Meets Design”
collaboration focused on “Skin, Texture” as its theme, coordinated by Evelina
Bazzo (see “Marmomacc 2008 continues as a global leader in stone design and
photo courtesy of Antolini Luigi & C.- As usual, Antolini Luigi & C. offered an innovative
booth design. This year, the company promoted its semi-precious materials,
adorned with Swarovski crystal designs by Fiona Swarovski, among other new
“This is a stimulating and unusual topic within
the scope of design, since it is often merely associated with cladding of walls
and paving or stone slabs used as furnishing tops,” said the organizers. “Yet,
the theme was not investigated only in terms of creative potential. For
example, stone by its very nature adds a salient feature: the unique color and
veins found in quarry workpieces - the unique origin of the material - can
nevertheless be incorporated in ‘repeatable’ products.”
Pairing stone suppliers with acclaimed
designers, this year’s “Marmomacc Meets Design” initiative focused on “Skin,
Texture” as its theme. Among the exhibits, Simone Micheli collaborated with
Italian porphyry supplier Odorizzi Porfidi.
Outstanding Exhibition Spaces
Another program that was held during Marmomacc
2008 was the “Best Communicator Award.” This program was yet another
collaboration between stone suppliers and designers with the goal of
“stimulating awareness of the value of their stands in relation to brand image
and overall exhibition impact,” according to the organizers. Among the
companies honored for outstanding booth design this year included Umberto
Among the stone/design collaboration at
Marmomacc is the “Best Communicator Award.” This program rewards exhibitors for
“stimulating awareness of the value of their stands in relation to brand image
and overall exhibition impact,” according to organizers. Companies honored for
outstanding booth design included Umberto Franchi.
This year’s jury included Mauro Albano, Brand
Manager of Marmomacc; Aldo Bottoli of the Industrial Design Association; Oscar
Colli of the magazine Il Bagno Oggi e Domani (Bathroom Today & Tomorrow);
Vincenzo Pavan, Marmomacc Consultant for Architecture; and Livio Salvadori of
Casabella, the Italian design publication.
Piba Marmi was also among the companies honored
for the “Best Communicator Award.”
Italian Industry Report
Among the conferences at Marmomacc 2008, one of
the business sessions provided a positive outlook for the Italian stone industry.
This message was delivered by Massimo Giorgetti, the Regional Counselor for
Public Works; Flavio Tosi, the Mayor of Verona; Luigi Castelletti, the
President of VeronaFiere; and Giovanni Mantovani, the Director General of
A group of Brazilian stone suppliers were
arranged in a national pavilion.
The officials reported that Italian marble was assessed through a study by
UniCredit Special Projects on behalf of Marmomacc. This research paints the
picture of a field experiencing major evolution, with the re-sizing of Italian
exports to its two main traditional buyers - the U.S. and Germany, both down by
5% - and a boom among emerging countries such as Eastern Europe, Maghreb, the
Middle East and Asia, according to VeronaFiere. Additionally, an adjustment of
product flow and industry activities (less quarrying, more processing) saw
growth in exports of 4.3% for 2007 and a balance of trade firmly in the black:
771 million Euros (U.S. $965 million) between raw materials and finished goods,
a record figure for the last five years, stated
American exhibitor presence at Marmomacc 2008
included two of the leading U.S. granite producers - Rock of Ages and Cold
Spring Granite Co. These two companies exhibited stone products at a
collaborative booth space in Verona.
The study also illustrates that overall, Italy -
despite suffering from the downturn in its own building industry - confirms its
status as world leader in exports with a quota returning to more than 30%,
followed by aggressive competitors such as Turkey and China - respectively at
26.2% and 15.5%.
photo courtesy of Thibaut- A
broad range of new stoneworking equipment was introduced at Marmomacc 2008, and
it drew strong interest on the show floor.
The Italian areas at the heart of the sector saw
Verona react to fluctuations on the two key markets due to a good performance
in Western Europe (United Kingdom, France and Spain), but especially in Eastern
Europe (Russia, Poland and Czech Republic) and India. Massa Carrara saw new
buyers from the Middle East and Maghreb, but also from Russia and India;
Lucca found new dynamics in the Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, China
and the less exotic United Kingdom,
France and Switzerland.
Trento was stable, while Vicenza and Bergamo, on the other hand, experienced
difficulties in finding alternative outlets in the wake of setbacks with
historic buyers, according to the study.
Hosts of the event included (from left): Vince
Marazita, who serves as the primary Marmomacc hosted the 10th edition of its
continuing education course for architects this past October. Architects from
the U.S., Canada, the U.K., India, South Africa and Australia spent four days
studying the importance of stone in modern design, including visits to stone
quarries, stoneworking factories and the Marmomacc exhibition.
Sidebar: Marmomacc 2008 Continues as a Global Leader in Stone Design and Education
In addition to the international exhibition on
stone and technology, Marmomacc also hosted the 10th edition of VeronaFiere’s
continuing education programs for architects, which now includes courses in
Italy, the U.S. and online. To commemorate this special anniversary, architects
who had participated in previous editions of the course were invited back to
take part in a special “Reunion” program - sponsored by Mapei, a leading
manufacturer of stone installation and maintenance products- that took place in
Milan, Trento and Verona.
Guide for the group, and VeronaFiere
representatives Janina Mathiasz, Mauro Albano and Martini Franchini.
Alumni conference members arrived in Milan on
September 29, where Mapei hosted a dinner for the group at a traditional
Milanese restaurant - giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves and
begin to get to know one another. The next day, the group toured the Research
& Development facilities at Mapei’s world headquarters in Milan.
During the next few days, the tour went on to include AIA/CES-approved
presentations by Mapei personnel, a guided architectural tour of the stone
renovations at the Duomo Cathedral in Milan as well as visits to other
significant architectural works, a granite quarry and fabrication facility in
the area, and the Marmomacc exhibition.
Among the learning sessions, the group toured a
quarry for Rosso Verona marble, operated by Cave Bonaldi.
A second group of architects - from the U.S.,
Canada, the U.K., India, South Africa and Australia - spent four days studying
the importance of stone in modern design. Participants visited quarries in Verona and Querceta (in Tuscany,
near Lucca), various stone-processing facilities and even Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli. Nearly 50
architects participated in these programs, which are recognized by the American
Institute of Architects, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the
Royal Institute of British Architects.
The ‘Quarry’ project aims to express the
strength, value and soul of rock in its entirety, thickness, weight,
appearance, form and surface,” according to Claudio Silvestrin, who designed
the project for Il Casone. “Surface is itself the co-essence of stone
At the fairgrounds, it remained obvious that the
relationship between stone and design continues to be one of Marmomacc’s major
draws, as stone trade professionals congregate in Verona each fall to see the
impact of new technologies on design. The “Marmomacc Meets Design” (MMD)
project, generated more innovative booth designs. MMD 2008 paired leading
international designers with 15 stone processors. The pairings focused on this
year’s theme - stone as texture or “skin” - in developing everything from
objects to entire booth designs. This theme reflects the increasing focus among
architects on selecting materials, including natural stone, on the basis of
their surface texture, whether in creating objects or in cladding
Two of the MMD booths shared the Marmomacc Best
Communicator Award, presented to the booths with the best visual approaches to
conveying the richness and potential of stone. The winners were: Il Casone for
Claudio Silvestrin’s “Quarry” booth design and PibaMarmi for Michele de Lucchi
and Philippe Nigro’s “Palisade” booth design. Silvestrin, de Lucchi and Nigro
were among the many designers involved in this project who were present at
“I attempted to reproduce in stone the lightness
that allows wood to be so flexible, yet at the same time so durable,” says
Michele de Lucchi of his “Palisade” project. “I used stone to design a
movement.” Philippe Nigro also worked on the project with de Lucchi.
A number of companies received “special
mentions” from the Best Communicator Award jury for their booth designs:
Vaselli Marmi, Grassi Pietre, Umberto Franchi Marmi, M+Q Italia, Henraux,
Lithos Design and Iaconcig.
Other pairings for the MMD project
included Mario Bellini/Mineranorge, Riccardo Blumer/Scalvini Marmi, Roberto
Canovaro/Marmo Arredo, Aldo Cibic/Quarella, Stefano Giovannoni/Grassi Pietre,
Massimo Iosa Ghini/Budri, James Irvine/Marsotto, Simone Micheli/Odorizzi
Porfidi, Pietro Ferruccio Laviani/Citco, Pongratz Perbellini
Architects/TestiGroup, Marco Piva/Lasa Marmo, Denis Santachiara/Marmi Ghirardi
and Luca Scacchetti/Santa Margherita.
Marmomacc 2009 is
scheduled to take place from September 30 to October 3, 2009 in Verona, Italy.