The Aquarel Collection Interprets Watercolor Through Stone Surfaces
A material used in architecture for its strength and durability is unexpectedly paired with another that’s equally as delicate. In the new Aquarel Collection, designed by Patricia Urquiola for Budri, classic Roman travertine and Iranian white onyx are brought together to interpret watercolor “paintings.” Transparencies and pastel nuances are at play here, expressing a contemporary feel that helps to enhance the surfaces of the stone while contrasting with its porosity. A skillful combination of warm tones that fade to cool and back again becomes its own canvas.
“Every project born with Budri is the result of a four-handed research, a creative gymnasium that always leads us to new languages that I would never have imagined could be created with marble,” said architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. “With Aquarel, we started from the symbiosis between a widely used material in architecture, such as Travertine, and the delicate transparency of white Onyx. Exploring how these materials dialogue together, we have created a game of transparencies, contrasts, but also of chromatic nuances and harmonious coexistence.”
The Aquarel Collection was introduced at Salone del Mobile during Milan Design Week 2023 earlier this month, consisting of two dining tables, a low table, a screen, and a wall cladding, as well as the Aquarel artwork and accessories that pair well with the tables. Both dining tables feature a large sculptural, monumental base. The large Living Table Aquarel is made of open-pore, sandblasted, classic Roman travertine with a large rectangular top. Its base comprises four geometric elements in travertine that are perforated by delicate cylinders in pink onyx. The Pierce is a circular table, characterized by its extra-clear glass top on a travertine base perforated by a mint green Onyx cylinder. The Aquarel Low Table also features a circular top, made of Iranian Aquarel white onyx in shades of pink, peach, and green. A metal, light green tray acts as its base.
Aquarel Paravent is a screen formed by four slabs of Iranian Aquarel white onyx and four slabs of open-pore travertino classico Romano marble, supported by cylinders in Lasa Covelano marble. The volumes of this piece allow the marble and onyx to express their charming unpredictability. The large Tartan wall cladding is inspired by the traditional Scottish fabric, but this dynamic version has been reinterpreted in pastels on a background of Alba Chiara marble featuring green and brick-colored veins.
The installation for the Budri showroom in Milan included a large Aquarel artwork at the entrance to the space. Made using a travertine background, the exercise between using different materials is united by the watercolor shades created by Budri.
“My work is often based on observation. In fact, I am always careful to analyze the material we work with, not only from the point of view of the colors, but also of the emotions it manages to transmit. Observing the slabs of Iranian white onyx and placing my hand behind it, I realized how uneven the transparency of this material is,” shared Alessandra Malagoli Budri, Art Director of Budri. “This apparently negative aspect allowed me instead to experiment with the onyx, drawing inspiration from watercolor painting. In this way, incredible nuances of colors are created, which vary according to the natural cloudiness of this wonderful stone. Inspirations often arise by chance and the most beautiful thing in all of this is discovering the unpredictability of this fantastic material.”
To learn more about the Aquarel Collection, visit budri.com.