• Cat Potter


When designers and makers put a unique spin on an otherwise every day material, our attention immediately peaks. Take concrete, for example. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen some tremendous innovations that utilise what was once largely considered a one-dimensional component.

Studio Ossidiana – a design practice based in Rotterdam and Milan – presents an installation of concrete elements, which interpret the Persian Carpet found in the gardens of Marres House, Maastricht.

Designed and produced by Alessandra Covini and Tomas Dirrix for Contemporary Culture, ‘Petrified Carpets’ is a collection of concrete architectural objects inspired by the ‘ideal garden’.

The carpet is interpreted as a planimetric representation of an outdoor space. Its motifs for the frame, the central medallion and the grid, represent various architectural elements found in Persian gardens, such as the surrounding wall, the central fountain, the kiosk, and the initial doorway.

Experimenting with different techniques of casting, colouring, and texturing concrete, Studio Ossidiana has translated these elements into tactile concrete forms exposing the lively and bright character of a material that has, they believe, progressively lost its expressive potential in the building industry. 

The project combines pigments, stones, sand and cement, used in different ratios for each object and making reference to the contours, tones and shades found in a garden.

At Marres, the concrete pieces are placed in dialogue with the existing hedges, openings, clearings and steps, creating a brand new view of the work.

If you’re in the Maastricht area, visit Capucijnenstraat 98, 6211 RT Maastricht, until 26 November 2017.

Photography credits: EH (Kyoungtae Kim) 

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