Archea Associati | Marco Casamonti
Sometimes you have to halt time at the moment when the patina becomes perfect. But to do this, we must have the technological skill to fix the instant we are seeking.
Archea Associati | Marco Casamonti
By deciding the required level of burnishing and the quantity and arrangement of the traces of rust, smears and scratches, the amazing colours generated in metals are brought to life thanks to the properties of ceramics, used to provide an actual representation of the perfect degree of oxidation, with a result that the designer defines, quite rightly, as a formal transfiguration of the “patina of time”.
About the collection
For CEDIT, Marco Casamonti has designed the METAMORFOSI collection, a project which attempts to fix the beauty of the oxidation processes that occur in metals in a precise moment, recording and revealing the wonderful progression of these natural changes wrought by time, on a new-design ceramic surface.
The different colour effects that occur in the metal, generated by the iridescences and tints specific to each family, are “frozen” on large ceramic slabs, where this generous, tough, non-deforming surface is called upon to fix the oxidation process for ever in the unique, perfect moment of its greatest beauty.
“Time stands still if a material is able to make it do so,” Casamonti declares, “and ceramics are the ideal choice for doing this.” The design work concentrated on crystallising and sealing a specific point of aesthetic equilibrium, enabling all the luminous effects that highlight the material’s surface structure to the full to interact in the composition. The changeability of metal is placed at the service of ceramic slabs, which are used as the medium for recounting stories where time is still the main player in a constant transformation, even though its metamorphic action is conceptualised in an abstract, frozen image.
Using state-of-the-art production technologies and drawing on in-depth knowledge of the materials concerned, Casamonti interprets brass, burnished iron and scotch brite steel with cleverness and creativity.
In this project, technology and aesthetics are in unison; with the aid of the large sizes (not always achievable with metals themselves), freedom of expression and application on both the horizontal and the vertical planes, the collection offers innovative solutions that become an original interruption to the continuity of architectural space.
Metamorfosi: spanning art and architecture
Together with his studio Archea Associati, Marco Casamonti set out to fix the surface effects created on a series of porcelain stoneware slabs which, through an alchemy made possible thanks to modern technology, manages to create large natural, treated or patinated metallic surfaces. It is not so much a design, as a carefully studied process of metamorphosis of the material, teetering between the metallisation of ceramics and the transformation of the latter into metals with various effects; a process that offers the stimulating opportunity to stop time in its tracks, preventing the elements responsible for weathering and oxidation from changing a surface that has already been altered and treated to reflect the architect’s express intentions. The effect of constant pictorial flux achieved through sophisticated patination is stopped at a precise moment in its development, surrendering to something stable and immutable, a beauty that stops and is consolidated without permitting further evolutionary changes. It could be described as a fight against time, a battle to swim against the tide, not to succumb to time’s winged chariot.
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Marco Casamonti (Florence, 1965), architect and designer, is a full professor at the Genoa Faculty of Architecture. He is a dedicated researcher and critic who works on various aspects of contemporary architecture, publishing studies, participating in congresses and giving lectures as a theoretician, academic and architect. He has been Editor in Chief of Area international Architecture and Design Arts magazine since 1997 and has been joint managing editor – with Paolo Portoghesi – of Materia magazine since 1999.