Pietra Kode: Decoding Classics for the 21st Century
How Vitruvian principles of harmony and nature inspired this third collaboration with Cosentino Group.
The Ten Books on Architecture, written by Roman architect and military engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio and the only major treatise on architecture from ancient antiquity, is a source of many of the principles of modern design. In it, Vitruvius outlines several qualities that help make buildings beautiful, stating that “firmness, commodity, and delight” remain essential components of all successful architectural design. He also asserts that “truth of nature” is a timeless notion and that design should embrace its universal laws of proportion and symmetry.
In researching Pietra Kode, I asked myself if such a universal sense of beauty can be decoded and applied to our colour development? The ideas of beauty shift and change through space and time, yet nature is our only constant. I spent a lot of time decoding the history of three classic Italian stones – Pietra di Vicenza, Travertino and Ceppo di Gré – and their use in Italian architecture, reimagining them in contemporary design. Each of these natural stones is decoded and then recoded within three Dekton concrete series, enhancing their properties and the many possibilities for architecture and design. We strove to create colours with rich shades and textures creating a contemporary sensory experience beyond what the eye can see.
Pietra Kode is a collection that showcases luxury in small, understated details designed to interact with each other, while the carbon neutral Dekton surface allows the collection to be used in a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications.
The Vicenza Kode series includes four warm and versatile colours that reinterpret the code of Pietra di Vicenza, a classic Italian stone that has been quarried since Roman times and has captivated Renaissance architects like Andrea Palladio. VK01 Nebbia’s fine-grained white creamy base dotted with warm taupe accents is reminiscent of the timeless beauty of Palladian architecture. VK02 Avorio is characterized by the presence of fossil shells that add depth and complexity in a very timeless way. VK03 Grigio is inspired by the texture of Grigio Alpi and boasts grey shades with warm nuances of browns and light yellows. VK04 Grafite combines a mix of black and grey scattered with whitish and reddish cloud-like patches, channeling the texture of dark, fine-grained limestone.
Travertine Kode reinvents Travertino. Found in vast deposits by ancient Romans in the city of Tibur thousands of years ago, this stone was used throughout history and helped build the Roman Empire. Over the centuries, this robust and versatile limestone inspired countless architects and artists. TK05 Sabbia reinterprets Italian Travertine, cut “a falda” creating clouds and veins that flow through the pieces in a disorderly and colourful way. TK06 Marmorio is a take on the Travetine cut “a controfalda” and takes cues from Travertino Navona in its colouring and structure.
Ceppo Kode reinterprets the beauty of Ceppo di Gré, often used in the Lombardia region to make buildings look exclusive and prestigious. The multiform structure of this tenacious rock gives it a conglomerate appearance. Brutalist in its nature, this stone makes a statement wherever you place it. Like Vicenza Kode, CK07 Ceppo also features design along the edges making it ideal for revealing applications, while the unmistakable pebbled pattern is ideal for both indoors and outdoors.
Pietra Kode was a labour of love and I believe that it truly translates, in a contemporary way, the timeliness beauty of Italian stones.
Daniel Germani is the creative director and founder of multidisciplinary design studio Daniel Germani Designs, which specializes in product design, design consultancy, interior design and architectural renovation.