Post by: Camila da Paz | Source:

When real estate agent Sandra Fiorenza and her husband looked for a house in South Florida, the couple had a few must-haves on their list.

For starters, they wanted a home in the super-secure Coral Gables neighborhood of Gables Estates. The couple also wanted a place with at least four bedrooms, a home that promoted family activities, and a few other features that were a little harder to come by when browsing through existing inventory.

Fiorenza and her husband scoured the Coral Gables area, but nothing fit their needs, so they opted to build their own instead. Now, the house they made home is on the market.

The completely custom, 13,216 sqft home ticks all of their boxes and offers much more. There's a pool and outdoor living space, a wine cellar, staff quarters, and crystal chandeliers in every room.

However, one of the home's unique aspects is that it's swathed in $3 million worth of marble. The entire façade of the exterior is covered in marble. Inside, bathrooms, floors, and walls are made of marble as well.

The sheer quantity of marble used in this home's construction had us asking questions. First of all, how does a builder obtain that much marble? And what about installation and upkeep?

Fiorenza said all of the marble for her house came from one quarry in Mérida, Mexico. She says, “I knew what color I wanted, and I wanted it all to match.”

First thing you need to do is: go to your architect. If you’re going to apply marble to the walls of the home, you need to make sure the home is built to receive marble. An architect must consider the stone and its weight before drawing up plans.

After the plans are in place, contractors, designers, and installers need to figure out the logistics. They will draw out the home and how the marble will fit.

If marble is being used on a home's exterior, thicker, heavier slabs of marble are used. The weight factor is important to consider. Once that’s specified, the builder will reach out to the supplier that has the capability to execute the importing.

For the Coral Gables house, choosing the marble before importing was a pretty special experience. “The marble for the house was hand-picked,” said Fiorenza. “We were invited to the quarry to pick it.”

Once the stone is picked and the amount of marble required is calculated, the process begins. Based on the size of slabs needed, the thickness, and the amount of stone required to complete the job, a stonemason will cut every piece of stone to the required specifications.

For interior spaces, the marble needs to be sealed to prevent scratching and staining, it is suggested sealing once a year. Even so, scratches may occur, so it’s recommended to have the marble polished as well. You can have it polished once a year, or at least once every two years, depending on an owner's lifestyle.

"We have a polisher come in twice a year,” says Fiorenza. She said the frequency makes sense in high-traffic areas of the home that see scratches more often.

As for the outside of the home, which has a natural finish, maintaining the marble is a little less laborious.

Typically on the outside, you don’t seal the stone, so the stone will age. There’s not much to be done about that, so you don’t really need to do much on the outside. Power-washing is about it.

And there you have it: your inside scoop on the world of marble. And if you’re interested in a home full of it, this Gable Estates house might be perfect for you.

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Post by: Camila da Paz | Source: This is Colossal

The Kadokawa Culture Museum in Sakura Town, Japan is situated within a starkly designed structure by architect Kengo Kuma.

Appearing pixelated, the facade is formed with 20,000 individual pieces of granite, and the polyhedron-shaped building is broken up into five floors, including a garden, art gallery, two museums, and a cafe. The most alluring feature is the bookshelf theater, an eight-meter-high library that holds around 50,000 titles. On level four, the multifunctional space can be transformed into a performance venue through projection mapping.

Located west of Tokyo, the museum is part of the larger Tokorozawa Sakura Town complex, which includes an anime hotel, an outdoor space lined with cherry trees, an indoor pavilion, shrine, shops, and restaurants.

An exhibition dedicated to Kuma will mark the museum’s launch, although a definitive schedule for public visits hasn’t been released due to concerns about COVID-19. To follow Kuma’s architectural projects and updates on Kadokawa’s full opening, head to Instagram @kadokawa_culture_museum.

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Post by: Camila da Paz | Source: Design Like

A scaled model of Manhattan hand carved from a block of marble tips the scales at an astounding two-and-a-half tons and measures 21 3/4 x 104 3/8 x 33 1/2 inches.

The miniature creation of America's most famous skyline, carved by Japanese artist Yutaka Sone, had art enthusiasts at a New York City gallery awestruck.

This impressive map was exhibited between September and October, 2011 at the David Zwirner gallery in New York. Little Manhattan’s sculpture map reflect an obsessive attention to details of the artist who tried to recreate the island to scale in marble, pending more than two years after 2006 making a wood-and-foam model based on Google Earth and his own photos taken during a helicopter ride to render Manhattan with its Central Park, skyscrapers, streets, avenues, and the bridges to the east and west to scale.

It was the highlight of the exhibit when it opened, with passers-by noting the painstaking precision with which Mr Sone carved the city's every building and sloping street.

The exhibition marks Mr Sone's fifth solo showing since his first exhibition at the gallery in 1999. The exhibition also included other marble works and sculptures of trees.

Some structures from the sculpture were slightly enlarged to show their iconic details which together with the pure white marble give an industrial look to the top, while the bottom is more elegant and poetic appearing from a distance like a large, weightless feminine dress.

Contemporary artist Yutaka Sone was born in 1965 in Shizuoka, Japan.

Sone studied fine art and architecture at Tokyo Geijutsu University and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Across a wide range of media, Sone's work revolves around a tension between realism and perfection. A conceptual framework, paired with a meticulous attention to detail, has characterized his practice since the early 1990s.

His sculptural works in particular attest to a profound interest in landscapes, whether natural or architectural. Work by the artist is held in prominent international museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Kunsthalle Bern; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Yutaka Sone is represented by Tommy Simoens, Antwerp.

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