March 06, 2015
At the Granada airport I'm waiting to taxi off to London with some quiet time to reflect. I am just wrapping up an inspired and exciting trip to Spain, care of marble and quartz company Cosentino. This trip was a much needed breath of fresh air and an opportunity to take in new surroundings, connect with peers and get an in depth understanding of our host's products and philosophy. It also allowed me to develop a personal relationship with Cosentino, and to discuss some exciting work opportunities which I will be unveiling soon. Here are the highlights:
We started in Barcelona, home to two of my favourite buildings in the world: Antoni Gaudi's 1910 Sagrada Familia and Mies van der Rohe's 1929 Barcelona Pavilion. They could not be further apart in temperament: the Catalan, Gaudi's work is emotional and nature inspired, while the German Van der Rohe is precise, controlled, disciplined and intellectual. Although these buildings were designed with different points of view at different times, they both created a feeling of calm and a clarity that returns to me when I think of them. I find it fascinating that the same creative process produces such a similar emotion in me while the visual result is seemingly so different. Both architects are brilliant in their attention to detail, and both buildings are listed as world heritage sites. Since I only had one day, these were my two choices in a city of so many appealing selections.
Mies van der Rohe's 1929 Barcelona Pavilion and Antoni Gaudi's 1910 Sagrada Familia
After seeing Gaudi and Van der Rohe Masterpieces we had lunch at this restaurant in the Catalan History Museum.
Next we were off to the Andalusian mountain range to view the Cosentino marble quarry. This family-owned company has been in that region of Spain since the 1940's and is today one of the world's largest manufacturers of marble, granite and quartz. I felt like the child who never thought about where vegetables come from and is shown a vegetable patch when we were shown the enormous valleys where the large machinery hacks off huge chunks of marble block. The blocks are taken to the warehouse to be cut down and finished, and made ready for fireplaces, kitchens, bathrooms and furniture. A new product exclusive to Cosentino called Dekton will be ground-breaking in the industry, as it is the first quartz material that can be installed outside - either in the hottest climates or the coldest, like Canada.
Cosentino offices and manufacturing plant.
Cosentino marble quarry.
Cosentino Quartz Sinks
We ended our trip in Granada the home of the Moorish masterpiece the Alhambra. Built between 1238 and 1358, it is considered the finest example of Moorish architecture in the western world. We spent a very pleasant afternoon wandering the vast gardens, with curated views from every direction featuring water fountains and water tributaries connecting the multi-tiered parterre gardens, all overlooking the city.
Alhambra delicate column
Bye to Spain and Heading to London