Stefan Scholten’s name is synonymous with colour. As part of the former Dutch design duo Scholten & Baijings, he developed a palette that became instantly identifiable; whether colour-blocked or dissolving into one another, pastels in soft and deep tones came to define the pair’s furniture and textile collections for Hay, Maharam, Ikea and more. Now working solo, Scholten has applied vibrant hues to that most impervious of materials: stone. Showcased inside Palazzo Francesco Turati as part of “Masterly: The Dutch in Milano” in September, The Stone House was a revelation for both its beauty and its sustainable focus.
All the pieces created for the installation, from tables and chairs to walls and “stone carpets,” were made with fragments from Carrara’s quarries and travertine from Siena. Scholten worked with consulting company Stone Made Italy and terrazzo workshop Laboratorio Morseletto to source discards from brands like Max Marmi Carrara and IGF Marmi. He then took inspiration from Laboratorio Morseletto’s vast library of samples to develop a series of coloured grouts, blending cements, crushed marble and various metal oxides into mixtures that complement the inherent qualities of larger chunks of stone.
The end results upcycle discards into mesmerizing pieces bearing Scholten’s unique signature. Ocean blue surrounds a shard of Zebrino to create a seat, olive tones background a collection of rounded Statuario pieces to form a tabletop, and bright coral lines connect blocks of Calacatta Macchia Vecchia for a side table.
If the pieces feel at once handmade and rigorously predetermined, that’s because they are. “I always sketch my initial ideas first,” Scholten explains. “After the sketches, I started collecting the different pieces of stone waste I liked at workshops around Carrara. At Laboratorio Morseletto, I dry-laid them in the preferred composition. From there, the company took over and joined all the separate pieces into one solid surface.”
For Laboratorio Morseletto, which was inspired to use stone waste in a unique way, the project is the beginning of something bigger. “Barbara Morseletto [the owner] and I are both very passionate about the concept of working with waste and the application of new terrazzo solutions in design products,” Scholten says. “Terrazzo is, in a way, already an upcycling process from its very origins — what’s new is to emphasize its importance.”
In one of his first solo projects, Stefan Scholten unites discarded stone fragments under one grand colour theory.