The fair, now in its 36th edition, will feature products from more than 1,200 companies from 33 different nations. These firms will be exhibiting natural stone in all forms, including blocks, slabs, tiles and specialty work such as statuary and furnishings. In addition, the technical side of the industry will be represented with the latest fabricating machinery and accessories, which will be in full operation on the show floor so attendees can see the equipment at work. Stone installation and maintenance products will also be on display at the fair, with hands-on demonstrations of their usage.
Last year, Marmomacc attracted a total of over 51,000 people, including over 19,000 foreign visitors (37.2%) from more than 100 countries. Of particular note, attendance by North Americans at Marmomacc increased by 60% at least year's edition. Attendance from the Far East and South America also increased last year, while regions such as Eastern Europe, Africa, the European Union and the Middle East all remained strong and steady.
Volargne di Dolc?Italy, with contributions from the European Union, is now home to the Stone Material Testing Centre. This facility, thanks to advanced instrumentation, is able to provide certification, in accordance with the indications of Directive CE 89/106, for materials produced and/or processed by companies both in and outside Verona.
The intensive course includes the following modules:
* quarrying technology for decorative stone materials
* processing technology for granite and hard stone materials
* processing technology for marble and mild stone materials
* design methods, site direction and installation of stone works
* analysis of surface machining operations for cladding in stone materials
* cleaning and restoration of monuments and historic stone materials
* advanced stone processing technology using computerized numerically controlled machinery
* production and processing technology for agglomerates and artificial stone materials
* artistic machining operations
* stone sculpture
Local institutions and organizations assisting with the program include the Brescia Chamber of Commerce, the Verona Local Council, Turin Polytechnic University and the Veneto Restoration Center. The program, aimed at architects from around the world and U.S. professional in particular, also includes visits, lessons and workshops within the quarries, factories and processing plants.
The course will be supplemented by the active involvement of authoritative personalities in the world of architecture, including U.S. architect Pei, Swiss architect Oechslin and Italian architects Dal Co, D'Amato and Mendini.
This initiative, which was set up in 1987, has enabled the fair organizers, Veronafiere, to gauge trends on the current use of stone materials while at the same time highlighting aspects of traditional processing, innovation in style and technology. Additionally, the program enhances the link between the design community and natural stone. The international jury for the com-petition includes:
* Francesco Dal Co, Faculty of Architecture, Venice
* Bernard Huet, ?ole d'Architecture, Paris Belleville
* Werner Oechslin, ETH, Zurich
* Vincenzo Pavan, Co-Director, USA Institute
* Dietmar Steiner, Director, Architektur Zentrum Wien
At the presentation, the winning architects will illustrate their theories and experience in the use of stone in architecture. The award-winning projects will be displayed in an exhibition involving drawings and photos, which will be open during the exhibition in Hall 1. Additionally, the awards program includes the publication of a prestigious volume containing documentation about the prize-winning projects, introduced by critical and historical essays by eminent personalities in the world of architecture.
A notable aspect of this experimental exhibition will be "interpreting the material;" to understand it not only in terms of traditional heritages, but also in response to demand for modern design. The formal potential of a "timeless" material -- such as stone -- without betraying its intrinsic nature will also be explored.
As was the case in previous events of this kind, the settings and artifacts will be developed in collaboration with famous architects, designers, artists, companies and craftsmen in the sector as well as public and private institutions.
Arranged in "islands" reflecting the different geographical-production areas in Italy and abroad, "spaces for bodily well-being" will be displayed in a supremely evocative setting in Hall 1 of the Verona Exhibition Centre.
The design theme of this edition of USA Institute Italy develops the content of the Marble Art Culture 2000 program, stressing the re-utilization of abandoned quarries, orienting the interest of young architects towards the environmental ecology and landscape design.
For more information on the event, or to make travel arrangements, visit the official Web site at: www.marmomacc.it.