pietre di monitillo's unique marble 'senato' speaker by efrem bonacina and pier lomascolo

pietre di monitillo's unique marble 'senato' speaker by efrem bonacina and pier lomascolo

pietre di monitillo launches a new product in its collection of stone objects. senato speaker is born thanks to a partnership with senato hotel milano and leads to a completely renewed sound system for the public areas of the milanese hotel, also developed with the help of politecnico di milano university.

senato speaker in white carrara marble, imperial green and brass



pietre di monitillo‘s speaker wishes to embody the beauty of the invisible, to provide weight to the majesty of good sound through noble materials. marble is ideal to amplify sound waves thanks to its compactness and homogeneous composition and is insensitive to structural decay, and metal — largely used in musical instruments — obtains crisp vibrations. both provide an ideal environment for the bowers&wilkins internal components.

senato speaker – detail



the marble elements are available in different configurations, as well as the internal components. any marble disc is cut out from a slab, and finished by hand. senato speaker comes with steel cable lines and brass elements for suspension at roof distance varying from 20 cm to 200 cm. the noun ‘marble’, mans ‘splendent’, as ‘having the sense of shining brightly’. marble has always been appreciated for the subtlety of its surface, its veins and shades of color. yet this material is not known to stimulate other sensoria.

marble is ideal to amplify sound waves



surprisingly already in the XVII century marble was used to create unprecedented musical instruments. the aesthetics of the period required rich ornamentation. elaborate carvings and cuts were developed to expand and enhance the possibilities of this unique stone to produce perfect sounds for the most disparate experimental musical research. the acoustic properties of this material are coherent with its mechanical ones such as density, elasticity or viscosity.

already in the XVII century marble was used to create unprecedented musical instruments



these characteristics combined with diverse workmanships determine the fractions of sound energy which will be refracted or absorbed. a material rigid yet polished like marble tends to reflect almost all of the acoustic radiation, like a mirror does with light. at the same time, marble is also considered soundproofing: thanks to its high specific weight, marble deflects sound waves. when moulded correctly, this property makes marble apt to interesting applications in the world of sound research.

the marble elements are available in different configurations



finally, thanks to its natural origin, every slab of marble is different and unique and can make this stone resonate in the most surprising ways. the sound of each cut can be distinctive and unique like the story it could tell of its own origins. the project ‘pietre di monitillo’ was born from monitillo marmi, a two generations family company, it represents the encounter between the apulian style in working stone and international design culture. its know-how is rooted in centuries’ old traditions. its ambition is to combine craftsmanship and technology through design research and surprising collaborations.

senato speaker in white carrara marble and brass


senato speaker in white carrara marble, nero marquina and brass


main components of senato speaker before assembling


the marble is polished by a craftman after the machine cutting


hand finishing of the marble discs


sketches of the assembled details


project info:


design: efrem bonacina / pier lomascolo
manufacturer: monitillo marmi

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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