The latest project developed at our studio consists of a collection of objects shaped into the Alhambra terrazzo, recently created by us for the “para/mira/toca” advertising campaign of Cervezas Alhambra beer brand. The beauty and practicality of waste are recurrent themes in our works, thought this time, we experiment with an unusual mixture of materials: glass bottles, marble, cement and coloured resin. With this collection, we push one more time our work to the limit between design and craft and aim to recall the Memphis Group’s pop style, their feast of colours and contrasts.
This series of tables is given life with the aim of objectifying the Alhambra terrazzo, by recalling the pop aesthetics of the 80s. Inspired by the shape of Nara table by Shiro Kuramata, Nara 2.0 stays true to the original design, though its material composition is different. The use of unbroken bottles brings to light unusual drawings, depending on the applied cuttings. The accuracy of the industrial processes used to reveal the table “hidden” inside the terrazzo block contrasts with the apparent randomness of the achieved sections.
The wide range of cutting angles arise from this randomness. We play with the iconic design of the table, while seeking new drawings generated by other pure shapes such as the circle and the triangle. The round, gentle sections are in contrast with the severity and hardness of the sharp edges. These versions – Nara 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc. – open the door to an infinity of possibilities that may evolve towards increasingly bold designs.
Alhambra Making of
The new Alhambra terrazzo emerges as a combination of glass bottles with marble, cement and coloured resin, a contemporary
reinterpretation of the ceramic glazed walls of the Alhambra interiors. The mixture and the coexistence of different materials remind us of the famous Venetian Terrazzo, a composition of cement combined with marble fragments, and the Florentine terrazzo, which used to combine cement with compact stones and whose sections reveal irregular shapes. It also recalls the material created by Shiro Kuramata in 1983, a mixture of terrazzo with glass fragments, under the influence of the Memphis Group’s design style.
Instead, the Alhambra terrazzo keeps the glass bottles unbroken which enables to achieve unusual, interesting shapes by sectioning the material, being therefore a closer interpretation of the traditional Florentine terrazzo. The glass bottle plays now a different role. The liquid it normally contains is replaced by the coloured terrazzo. Similarly to different techniques that are aimed to separate colours within the terrazzo surface (brass rails and plates for example), the glass bottle is used as the border between the cement and the coloured terrazzo..
This opening collection of items accurately sculptured in the Alhambra terrazzo also comprises different models of fruit bowls and vases. Their design is based on both straight and curved geometry, the latter one being in line with the circular shape of the bottle.
Inspired by the world of colours of the fruits and flowers, these two items and their variations turn to the user’s emotional perception. There is a joyful contrast between the vividly coloured terrazzo inside the bottles and the white mass of the rest of the block. Generously sized, the objects play with the pure geometrical volumes, inviting the user to interact with a tactile and sensual material.
Playing with geometry is a basic starting point in order to find the appropriate shape for many of our works such as Rayuela stool, Riad side table and Double Game project. All these are the fruit of pure geometry which slightly altered each product by determining the employed materials and finishes and consequently, the different manufacturing processes associated to them. However, the shapes of this collection are no longer linked to the symmetry and reduction attempt predominating in our previous work, but they have been replaced for unusual and apparently random sections.
Studio photos by Alfonso Herranz and Alicia García.
Tables: 60 x 60 x 40 cm. 50 kg aprox.
Vases: ø25 cm, H: 50 cm. 30 kg aprox.
Bowls: ø54 cm, H: 10 cm. 16 kg aprox.
This product is suitable for outdoor use although it should not be left outside in wet conditions.
Materials Alhambra glass bottles, concrete, colour pigments, Carrara marble and resin.
Special thanks to:
Terraconti, Piedras Lozano and Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja.