Neolith, a pioneering brand of sintered stone, is fast becoming a material choice for high-end, high-concept residential renovations. Recently, it played a pivotal role in a penthouse project for luxury property developer and architect Herrero & Vázquez.
A sparing choice of materials is incredibly important to Herrero & Vázquez’s approach; they usually specify just using three to four patterns across the entire property. This careful curation helps to bring understated personality to their work, in a straightforward and unfussy way, with the over-arching goal of achieving a minimalist, balanced and beautiful interior. Significantly, their use of Neolith’s surfaces throughout the interior of a sophisticated Central Madrid apartment, in the Spanish city’s fashionable Chamberí district, brought the overall design concept together for visually captivating results.
Entering this marvelously modish apartment, visitors find themselves in a light, airy, open-plan living area with a kitchen to the left, and behind that a corridor leading to a well-appointed master bedroom. The eye is immediately drawn to the room’s centerpiece, a dual fireplace and shelf unit specified in Neolith Beton. This impressive feature brings the whole living area together in a contemporary and convivial way. It’s something to gather around during the cold winter months and admire all year-round, like a piece of abstract sculpture. This is further framed by high ceilings, brushed oak floors, crisp white walls and cabinetry, and exposed structural concrete columns, creating a light airy atmosphere.
Moving to the kitchen, Neolith is a natural choice for applications in this space. Not only does it look attractive, it also possesses strong performance qualities. Ultra-hygienic, highly resistant and scratch-, stain- and water-proof, it can withstand the daily impact of culinary activity. Furthermore, coming in a range of over 50 colors, patterns and finishes, it can match any design brief.
Continuing with the concrete theme, Neolith Beton with thicknesses of 1/4 and 1/2 inch has been specified throughout the kitchen space -- cladding all cabinetry, applied across all countertops and laid as the area’s flooring. Spotlessly sophisticated, statement walls in honey-colored timber provide an interesting optical juxtaposition.
Choosing Neolith Beton also met the project’s rigid sustainability objective. Manufactured in a carbon neutral environment from 100% natural raw materials, its production is far less carbon intensive than architectural concrete. Moreover, Neolith slabs contain substantially less embodied carbon than poured or precast concrete.
The contrasting theme of concrete and wood is also explored in the master bedroom, emphasizing Herrero & Vázquez’s desire to create a consistent holistic atmosphere across the property. Importantly, the design needed to deliver a distinct character, without becoming overbearing and intrusive, a home which the owner could stamp with their own tastes and preferences.
Benefitting from plenty of natural light and minimalist detailing, Neolith Beton is used for the cladding of a statement ‘box’ which contains a wet room, equipped with a ‘his and her’ sink vanity and for the flooring.
“For the residential project, we wanted to create a cool, contemporary and uncomplicated space using the very best materials, fixtures and fittings,” said José Ignacio Herrero from Herrero & Vázquez Housing. “Working with only three or four different materials challenges us to be more creative in the design process. We chose Neolith not only because of its versatility, but its incredible range of highly defined colors and patterns.
“From a contractor perspective, Neolith also offers the reassurance of longevity and performance,” José Ignacio continued. “Fundamentally, it’s a material you can trust. As we are also the contractors, we need to be extremely careful in our choice of building products because we’re directly accountable to our customers for the quality of the workmanship. As such, its high durability, ease of fabrication and various guarantees made choosing it unavoidable.”
Property Developer and Architect: Herrero & Vázquez, Madrid, Spain
Sintered Stone Manufacturer: Neolith, Almazora, (Castellón), Spain