Impressive supporting columns in Rouge Griotte marble
Planning and realization of 12 identical columns with covering in gold leaf on capitals and bases. They had to be placed on the ground floor, in the entrance of a hall in semicircle without ceiling so completely visible from the balcony of the first floor.
Marble: Rouge Griotte, polished finish
Dimensions: height 350 cm, diameter 40 cm
Project: Private Beaux-Arts Estate
Place: Atlanta, Georgia – U.S.A.
Award: 2019 Palladio Award – craftsmanship
For the architecture: Harrison Design www.harrisondesign.com
Relevant phases of the work realization
Currently Rouge Griotte marble is multi-coloured, fragile and it flakes easily. It has inner holes of different dimensions, branched splits, various hardnesses and veins. Since it is difficult to find blocks with dimensions of more than 250 cm, it was impossible to realize the columns in a unique piece. In order to make a coordinated work, we have selected blocks with colours and veins similar to each other. Furthermore to avoid the unaesthetic joint at half height, we have realized the columns in two parts: one high 250 cm and the other one high 100 cm.
More information: marble selection
Due to its substantial fragility, the marble was not considered suitable for the realization of supporting columns. We have planned the insertion of a support structure, not visible externally, in order to make them resistant to the compression and to the bending.
More information: artistic and technical planning
The shafts had to be tapered, or rather with reduction of the diameter from bottom to top. In order to make the junction of the two column parts less visible and to have the continuity of the veins, we have made inclined cuts considering the deviation due to the diameter change.
In every element, we have realized three parallel and equidistant holes to insert the steel bars in a unique piece. Using a semi-dense composition for the gluing, with long times for the hardening, we have been able to make with care and precision the correct assembly operations.
More information: artisanal manufacture
The polishing had to be uniform also if the marble had solidity, holes, splits and different hardnesses.
We have covered up all the natural holes with homogeneous inserts of material and polished by hand using various antique abrasive tools.
More information: finishings
Pills of history
Rouge Griotte is a precious marble of French origin. The colour is due to its dark red colour typical of sour cherry, called Griotte in French. In order to preserve and protect the beauty and the exclusivity of this material, at the end of 1600, Luigi XIV proclaimed the relative quarries as”royals” and prohibited to the others the access and the use.
This project has won the “2019 Palladio Award”!