ARKITEKT I FOKUS –
TIPS OCH TRENDER – VENEZIA TERRAZZO: A ‘TERRAZZO DE LUXE’
Andrea Palladio was a pioneering architect who practised in Italy in the 16th-century. He gave rise to an architectural style referred to as Palladian. Within the field of terrazzo, we use a special technique known internationally as Palladiana, which we’d like to tell you more about here. This terrazzo technique more than likely got its name from its extensive use in buildings in the Palladian style. In Sweden, the technique is known as Venezia Terrazzo.
In recent years, Venezia Terrazzo has become ever more popular and can be seen in a few public spaces. “We’ve noticed an increase in demand for Venezia Terrazzo at Herrljunga Terrazzo. We’ve seen this trend grow for quite some time, maybe for the past five years, and we believe it will continue to rise,” says Anders Carlehed at Herrljunga Terrazzo.
Venezia Terrazzo is a type of terrazzo that is usually used for floors. Instead of casting the entire floor in one moment, the process starts with laying out pieces of natural stone on a substrate, between which terrazzo is then poured. The pieces are laid out and spaced evenly on flat concrete surfaces. Regular, fine-grained terrazzo is poured between them. After grinding and polishing, the surface is perfectly smooth and practically joint-free, just like ordinary terrazzo. In conventional terrazzo, stone can be used in thicknesses up to around 25 mm. If you want to use larger stones, Venezia is an available option. It takes 50-80 per cent more time to install Venezia Terrazzo than conventional terrazzo. As is the case with all terrazzo, the pieces are recycled stone. They might be marble or other natural stone that is broken or cannot be used for anything else.
“Creating a Venezia Terrazzo floor is like laying a big jigsaw puzzle, and demands a great deal of the craftsman who creates the actual pattern. The result is reminiscent of an ocean bay full of ice floes in different sizes. The client has a great deal of control over the appearance. The shape and size of the pieces, and the distance between them, affects the overall impression. The client might also consider whether the pattern should change, whether it should shift colour, continue right up to the wall or finish before. If pieces of different sizes are chosen, it’s also possible to play with scales and proportions. We can also use waterjet cutting to achieve shapes like stars and hearts. Every Venezia Terrazzo floor is unique and fantastically stylish,” says Anders Carlehed.
Anders has worked with Venezia Terrazzo in several projects and usually has close contact with the client, architect, artist or developer. It’s always the client who creates the pattern while Herrljunga Terrazzo provides the capabilities, appropriate materials, techniques, machines, craftsmanship and the constructive dialogues.
Venezia Terrazzo is classic and expresses prosperity. The latter half of the 19th century is usually regarded as the beginning of the modern terrazzo age, and because construction labour was cheaper then, it was possible to invest more money in exclusive materials and techniques like terrazzo. “Venezia Terrazzo’s present day upswing may well in part be due to architect David Chipperfield’s use of Venezia Terrazzo on everything from floor to ceiling in the Valentino store in New York. A Swedish example is Melander’s seafood restaurant on Dalagatan in Stockholm, where Caspar von Vegesack designed in Venezia Terrazzo. The large stones in the terrazzo come from Carrara in Italy. The fish they serve comes from many different places,” concludes Anders.