atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection

sustainable luxury: atlas concorde x hirsch bedner associates

 

Atlas Concorde is an expert in ceramic-tile solutions that are at once sustainable and luxurious. Architonic spoke with HBA partner Paula O’Callaghan about the hospitality-design firm’s collaboration with the Italian brand on its Marvel Travertine collection.

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection
Italian ceramic tile specialist Atlas Concorde collaborated with international luxury hospitality brand Hirsch Bedner Associates on the Marvel Travertine collection

all images courtesy of Atlas Concorde

 

 

We spend so much time in this industry deploring the nefarious activity of design copying, with all its inferior fakes and knock-offs, and rightly so. Apart from the sheer unfairness of it, it’s theft. If you believe in the value of design – of considered authorship, high-end materials and quality production and craftsmanship – resulting in long-life products, the notion of buying a copy will be anathema to you.

But if you’re talking about the technically virtuosic copying of a finite natural material in the name of environmental sustainability, I’m all for it. This was the starting point for a collaboration between hospitality-design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates and Italian ceramic-tile experts Atlas Concorde that has produced what the manufacturer terms ‘extreme realism’. Their collaboration in the development of the Marvel Travertine collection replicates with a surprising exactitude the optics and haptics of that age-old, but sadly limited, limestone for which it’s named.

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection
The Marvel Travertine collection’s versatility can be seen and experienced on a variety of HBA’s extensive hospitality projects around the world

 

 

The expectation of luxury interiors commonly involves the application of natural stone,’ explained HBA partner Paula O’Callaghan in a call recently to discuss the collection and its genesis. ‘However, our awareness of the finite availability of these natural materials prompted us to determine a more sustainable solution.

Architonic (AT): How did HBA come to collaborate with Atlas Concorde?

 

Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA): Both HBA and Atlas Concorde have over 50 years of experience in their respective fields, and share a passion for excellence in design. We both have an eye firmly fixed on the future and the innovative products needed to respond to the environmental issues facing the world. So, our partnership was born out of this common vision.

Discover more from Atlas Concorde

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection
The collection was developed by an international team of designers, who have created a diverse range of different concepts including Diamond Decor (top) and Chiselled Urban Grid (bottom)

 


AT: You use the term ‘extreme realism’ to describe Marvel Travertine. What does this mean? Why try to recreate the look (and feel) of a natural material? What’s the benefit?


HBA: Our goal was to emulate the beauty of natural materials in an environmentally sustainable way, achieving quality design without sacrificing our planet’s natural reserves. The expectation of luxury interiors commonly involves the application of natural stone. However, our awareness of the finite availability of these natural materials prompted us to determine a more sustainable solution.

 

‘Both HBA and Atlas Concorde have an eye firmly fixed on the future and the innovative products needed to respond to the environmental issues facing the world’

 

Within the hospitality interiors space, we are cognisant of the operator’s requirements for easy maintenance, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, where cleanliness within hotel facilities is paramount. Marvel Travertine offers, convincingly, the look and feel of this very porous stone; but, with the ease of maintenance, reliable slip-resistance and the durability of a man-made product.

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection

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While it may have been developed by a leading hospitality firm, Marvel Travertine is suitable for a broad variety of other contexts, including on commercial and residential projects. Pictured here: Tessellation Mosaic and Basketweave Mosaic

 


AT: Can you describe the process for the development of the Marvel Travertine collection?

 

HBA: Initially, we brainstormed with Atlas Concorde for a product that could be universally attractive, regardless of culture or application. It needed to be a tile product that could be used anywhere in the world, in any type of context, but something associated with luxury interiors.

 

‘It needed to be a tile product that could be used anywhere in the world, in any type of context, but something associated with luxury interiors’

 

In an internal survey, HBA consulted with its interior-design teams to identify which natural materials were difficult to specify in hospitality interiors, and what type of tile product would its designers be inclined to specify if the natural effect was convincing enough. After identifying travertine as the stone species, several tile-layout designs were developed by the HBA Products team, with staged input from the interior-design team leaders.

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection

atlas-designboom-fullsize-02

‘After listening to HBA’s vision of architecture and hospitality design as well as the projects that inspire them, I immediately sensed that our organisations shared similar values’ says Atlas Concorde CEO, Maurizio Mazzotti

 

 

AT: Where do you see Marvel Travertine being applied?


HBA: Marvel Travertine is most ideal in areas that require heavy maintenance, cleaning and slip resistance, such as flooring in wet areas. In a hospitality context, this can include the public restrooms, spa, pool deck, locker rooms and guest bathrooms. It can also be used in food and beverage applications. This product can be easily cut, so it can be applied similarly to stone, with mitered corners to achieve a convincing effect of natural stone.

AT: What role, in general, does flooring play in the overall dynamic of an interior-architectural space? At what point in a project do you consider/specify it?

 

HBA: Flooring is one of three key planes within an interior space, so its role is significant in defining the look and feel of that space. Flooring and wall material are the first selections in preparing an interior scheme, as it provides the overall envelope and backdrop for the design to occur. In commercial interiors, the properties of flooring material are highly considered during selection, as it must be easy to maintain and safe to tread upon.

atlas concorde emulates natural beauty in ceramic marvel travertine collection
Atlas Concorde’s surfaces allow HBA to fulfil its mission to create spaces that respect the environment, says CEO Ian Carr, pictured above left, beside HBA partner Paula O’Callaghan at Atlas Concorde’s Milan showroom

 

 

AT: As architects (hospitality designers), does your project work inform your product-design activities?

 

HBA: Yes, very much so. HBA’s projects do influence our Product Design team’s activities. For most of our projects, especially within the luxury hospitality and high-end residential sector, custom design is required and expected. In fact, with the objective of creating unique and exquisite interiors for our clients, our interior designers are often involved in custom-developing beautiful items and materials as part of the design-development process. Hence, the application of this creative energy towards HBA Products is a natural and logical extension of that design process.

AT: Which materials for you are no-gos when it comes to your project work and why?

 

HBA: 20 years ago or so, the selection of special, exotic wood and stone species would have been the norm for luxury interiors. However, now, we actively avoid using natural materials as we know they are heavily depleted, such as Macassar ebony. We also avoid materials that do not meet basic industry standards for quality and try to educate our clients on honouring quality products.

 

Discover more from Atlas Concorde

Guest feature by Architonic

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