A couple of times a week, I walk past the gorgeous exterior of Hallelujah Cafe on Kloof Nek Rd, and always glance admiringly at their colourful terrazzo exterior. Over the weekend, I also happened to stumble upon the ‘soft’ opening of brand new burger joint Junior , right across the road from Hallelujah and also, as it happens, kitted out in terrazzo. It’s so new I don’t even have pics! You’ll have to see for yourself.
All this terrazzo making an appearance in the epicentre of Cape Town’s trendsetting district has caused me detect the whiff of a trend in the air, and so off I went to sniff it out.
First stop: Wes Anderson’s Bar Luce in Milan, which opened earlier this year, with its pink terrazzo floor. So gorgeous!
Wes agrees: terrazzo is hot, hot, hot!
Photo: @framboisejam on instagram
Last year, British product designer Max Lamb launched his resin-cast terrazzo product Marmoreal, which uses four different kinds of marble, and can be used in architectural projects. Read more about it here, and look at some of the very varied uses to which Marmoreal has been put:
1. Maison Kitsuné store in Paris. Photo: @petitepassport on instagram. More pics here.
2. As part of their store launch, Maison Kitsuné launched a Marmoreal capsule collection too.
3. Bathroom tiles, via Opening Ceremony
4. Marmoreal cheese board at Makers & Brothers
Marmoreal has definitely been a hit, but does that mean its a trend? Here’s a little more evidence I dug up:
LED hanging lights by BENTU
Valentino flagship store in NYC by David Chipperfield from 2014. Via Dezeen.
The Terrazzo Project by Swiss product designers Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard and Philippe-Albert Lefebvre
So, the question is: does a high-end new architectural material, a couple of terrazzo-kitted Cape Town restaurants, and a sweatshirt a trend make? The Wes Anderson bar design hits the Bingo bell for me, but let’s all keep an eye out for more evidence, and enjoy some terrazzo from the history books in the meantime.
Classic terrazzo floor in the Sunnyview Wexler House. Photo: @EvaGoicochea on Instagram
Shiro Kuramata joined Ettore Sottsass’s Memphis collective in the ’80s, and this is his signature terrazzo surface, made into the Kyoto Table.
The epic floor of the NoHo Star Cafe in NYC. Photos: Jayne Design Studios