The Cortile della Farmacia at Milan University, part of the Interni Material Immaterial exhibition at Milan Design Week, has been stunningly transformed for Augmented Surface; a project promoting Marazzi’s porcelain tiles.
An apparently simple concept implemented on a large scale highlights the The Cortile della Farmacia’s beautiful Renaissance proportions and adds an imaginary dimension to this striking courtyard space.
Augmented Surface, by design firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, showcases Marazzi’s porcelain stoneware, which was specially produced for this installation with an innovative surface treatment.
By means of a theatre-style installation of mirrored backdrop panels, the courtyard seems to be duplicated while, in fact, half of it is completely unchanged. This optical illusion creates a perfectly symmetrical architectural interior, decorated with the visual and chromatic richness of porcelain stoneware slabs, applied to the wall of the cloisters and on the ground. Augmented Surface consists of mirror panels six metres high and carefully positioned slabs, obliquely lit from below.
The stoneware, in a 1,500 by 750mm format, was laser printed, slab by slab, to produce the final image in an innovative mosaic-like process. As well as the research needed to obtain the surface effects they required, the challenge for the architects and Marazzi was to produce hundreds of different slabs, each of them printed from its own file.
Augmented Surface celebrates the tactile beauty and performance of porcelain stoneware, easy to handle and creative in its surface finishes, a characteristic not found in any other engineering material.
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