One of the world’s leading international stone fairs, Marmomacc is set to take place in Verona, Italy, from October 2 to 5, 2008.

Every October, the international stone industry turns its attention to the stoneworking region of Verona, Italy, for the Marmomacc trade fair, and this year’s event is set for October 2 to 5, 2008. Already established as the world’s leading international exhibition for natural stone, the event features an extensive exhibition of stone and technology, as well as a full agenda of initiatives that connect the industry and the architectural community.

Organized by VeronaFiere, the event will include displays of marble, granite and other stone materials in a range of formats, including blocks, slabs, tiles, mosaics, wall cladding, furnishings and other cut-to-size work. Each year, exhibitors from around the world rely on Marmomacc as an opportunity to release newly discovered materials, finishes and formats to the international marketplace. In effect, the fair becomes a “fashion show” of the latest stone products - catering to an international audience of stone industry and design professionals.

In addition to natural stone products, Marmomacc is an outlet for the world’s leading manufacturers of stoneworking equipment to showcase new offerings to the industry. As always, a range of new machinery models will be on display in Verona, and attendees can see them in operation first-hand. These include large-scale machines as well as smaller equipment for fabrication shops, including CNC stoneworking centers, waterjet machinery, bridge saws, polishing machines, material handling equipment and more. Manufacturers of tooling and accessories for stoneworking professionals - such as diamond blades, polishing pads, profile wheels and more - also carry an important presence at Marmomacc.

In terms of stone installation and maintenance, the world’s leading manufacturers of adhesives, sealants, cleaners and related products will also be at Marmomacc, with a range of hands-on demonstrations to give attendees a view of the materials at work.

In 2007, Marmomacc featured a total of 1,510 exhibitors, including 750 international firms from 50 different countries. The fairgrounds feature 12 halls and four outdoor exhibition areas, for a total of more than 800,000 square feet (76,000 square meters) of net space.

Last year’s edition of Marmomacc drew 63,000 visitors over four days, including 28,000 international visitors from 118 nations.

Marmomacc includes both interior and exterior spaces for exhibitors, with most of the block displays found outdoors.

Marmomacc Meets Design

Over the years, Marmomacc has developed a number of initiatives to foster relationships between stone suppliers and the architecture and design community. The “Marmomacc Meets Design” program was a successful initiative during the 2007 edition.

During this program, nine leading companies in the stone industry worked closely with nine internationally-renowned architects and designers to develop furnishing projects emphasizing the use of marble. The goal was that the completed custom projects would inspire smaller replications of stone furnishings that could be replicated for the general public.

The 2007 edition focused on “The Lightness of Marble,” a challenge to gravity and the very nature of stone. The designers tackled the topic with great freedom to interpret “lightness” not only in terms of weight, color, luminosity, coolness and paleness, but also in terms of sustainability; for example, using as little material as possible.

Participants included, Riccardo Blumer with Cedal Granites; Aldo Cibic + Cibic & Partners with Grassi Pietre; Michele de Lucchi + Philippe Nigro with Piba Marmi; Kengo Kuma with Il Casone; Alberto Meda with Campolonghi; Simone Micheli with Pietra della Lessinia; Marco Piva with Santa Margherita; Denis Santachiara with Testi Fratelli; and Tobia Scarpa with Agglonord.

Marmomacc 2007 served as a springboard for this collaborative effort, and in June of this year, results of the “The Lightness of Marble” program were presented at the annual press conference of the Milan Triennial. The exhibition remained on display at the Milan Triennial’s “Material ConneXion” - set up by Cibic Workshop - from June 5 to July 13, 2008. Following the Milan event, the exhibition will be on display in Verona at Marmomacc 2008.

This year, the “Marmomacc Meets Design” collaboration focuses on “Skin, Texture” as its theme, coordinated by Evelina Bazzo. “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,” stated 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.”

Participants in this year’s edition include: Mario Bellini with Mineranorge; Riccardo Blumer with Scalvini Marmi; Roberto Canovaro with Marmo Arredo; Aldo Cibic with Quarella; Michele De Lucchi with Piba Marmi; Stefano Giovannoni with Grassi Pietre; Massimo Iosa Ghini with Budri; James Irvine with Marsotto; Simone Micheli with Odorizzi Porfidi; Paola Navone with Citco; Perbellini Pongratz Architects with Testi Group; Marco Piva with Lasa Marmo; Luca Scacchetti with Santa Margherita; and Claudio Silvestrin with Il Casone.

As always, a range of new machinery models will be on display in Verona, and attendees can see them in operation first-hand.

Outstanding exhibition spaces

Another program introduced in 2007 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 organizers. This program will continue in 2008, and the jury will include 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.

Winners in 2007 were Il Casone with Kengo Kuma, Grassi Pietre with Cibic & Partners and Piba Marmi with Damiano Steccanella.

The set-up designed by Kuma saw Serena stone transformed into thin slabs of different thicknesses, assembled in a modular structure resembling a house of cards. The backdrop of the stand relied on plays of light and shade to turn stone - which is generally considered to be a heavy and monochromatic material - into something perceived as lightweight and expressive.

Similarly, Cibic used natural stone to create a vertical brise soleil (sun shade), which worked effectively in the relatively small location. The lightness of the sun shade was contrasted by a stone path, which led to the two vertical corner walls of the exhibit.

Lastly, Steccanella designed a stand with a continual passage between the exterior and the interior, where various objects were displayed - from the marble drawers by Michele de Lucchi to the Piba Marmi product catalog.

“These examples demonstrate the versatility of stone materials in creating temporary spaces and express the capacity of such set-ups to achieve a poetic vision, emotional impact and communicative effects,” stated the event organizers. “Exhibition stands do not merely indicate the simple presence of the company, but can highlight research and production quality.”
For information on attending Marmomacc 2008, including online registration, visit