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16th January 2020

Specialists Pick: Terrazzo Stones of Venice

Specialists Pick


Occasionally our specialists will be asked to recommend to our customers the best of the best, from timber cladding to fine silver. Architectural salvage expert Harry Amos brings to your attention an exceptional batch of Italian mid century tiles.  

Venetian creative tradition

LASSCO Ropewalk has acquired a remarkable set of reclaimed 1960’s Terrazzo Veneziana tiles. Terrazzo Veneziana or Pavimento Alla Veneziana is a composite paving composed of fragments and chips of decorative and coloured stone bound in cement. It evolved out of the specific context of an ingenious marine republic possessed of architectural ambition but without reserves of building stone.
Over the generations, manufacturing has moved from hand tools and goats-milk finishing to electric grinding and industrial polishing, but the choice of materials and the continuity of the relevant creative conventions has always strictly prescribed the aesthetic of this distinctly Venetian tradition . In essence the process remains unchanged. Manufacturers gather diverse stone fragments from building waste, cast them into a cement binder and bring the resulting ‘baked pudding’ of stone up to a glistening polished pavior.


Pale gold and Adriatic azul

The marble and stone fragments used in these tiles thus reflect a broad range of  the decorative stonework seen in the palaces and public buildings of the Serene Republic. The quality of the batch reclaimed by LASSCO is exceptionally high, with the ratio of decorative stone to cementitious binder being roughly 50/50. The size and vivid colour of the stone is also remarkable.
Contemporary Terazzo Veneziana rarely achieves this impressive density of high quality decorative stone. The stones used are selected in subtle homage to the famed Stones Of Venice and in particular the Palazzo Ducale. Pink Verona Marble and Giallo D’Istris in pale gold echo the banding of the San Marco frontage of the Doge’s Palace while being offset by the deep Adriatic azul of the Venetian Blue Granite.

Art Deco and modern application

The history of Terrazzo Veneziano stretches back over 500 years to the early 15th Century and it has been used throughout this period in contexts as diverse as Gen.Washington’s Palladian Mount Vernon plantation in Virginia and John Outram’s Post Modern Isle of Dogs pumping station in the London Docklands. While the range of its employment is an indication of its versatility it may be perhaps most popularly associated with the liberated and energetic aesthetic of Art Deco and in particular the subsidiary aesthetic of the Streamlined Moderne style.



For the full list of all the tiles we have in stock, please look here.

Or if there is a specific floor type or surface you are on the hunt for; get in contact with our flooring expert Nicholas Newman.