Dutch designer Stefan Scholten presents The Stone House, marking his solo debut at Salone del Mobile, as part of ‘Masterly – The Dutch in Milano’ exhibition at Palazzo Turati. For this project, Scholten was influenced by living and working in Forte dei Marmi, in an area of Italy best known for its marble quarries. Keen to explore a way to repurpose stone waste, the designer began in-depth material research, visiting local quarries for inspiration. 

‘In designing The Stone House, I let myself be guided by the use of stone waste and its aesthetic quality,’ explains the designer. The project, he says, is about finding new and creative ways to upcycle stone waste. ‘Sustainability is no longer a trend, but a necessity. This awareness also applies to the stone industry, where the quantity of unused material is massive,’ continues Scholten.

Stefan Scholten: designing with marble offcuts

Marble chair design by Stefan Scholten, part of an exploration of stone waste

The first steps of the project involved visiting several quarries to select waste materials for the designs, which were then brought to life in collaboration with material specialist Morseletto. The selection includes a spectrum of marbles such as Statuario, Fantastico Arni, Grigio Collemandina, Travertino Silver, Ocean Blue, Calacatta Macchia Vecchia, and Zebrino.

The results are a series of minimalist furniture pieces (a series of dining chairs, a bench, a coffee table and a dining table), the house’s walls and even a carpet. Traditional techniques such as terrazzo are pushed to new aesthetic extremes with a mix of bold colours, geometric shapes and graphic combinations. 

Installation view of Stefan Scholten’s The Stone House at Palazzo Turati, Milan
Installation view at Palazzo Turati. Photography: Simone Bossi 

Patchwork-like motifs are achieved by combining marble offcuts through colourful terrazzo joints, creating unique expressive interpretations of the stones and offering new points of view on the use of material. A dining chair, for instance, is made of an irregularly cut slab of veined stone, surrounded by a bright blue mix to make it functional.

‘The natural material is so enormously varied, colourful and with unique patterns,’ says Scholten. ‘As a result, it offers an endless range of possibilities.’ §

Table and chair by Stefan Scholten seen in factory and designed using offcuts of marble
Stefan Scholten’s The Stone House carpet being made at factory