Private house - Wales (UK)

Life in a green landscape

A renovation project for a private house in Wales reflects the technical and sociological origins of the marble-effect porcelain tiles used for the floor covering
Santino Limonta
Année de réalisation

According to the manufacturer Ceramica Campogalliano, « The Taj Mahal collection is the result of a long and complex research project aimed at creating an eco-friendly marble, a glazed porcelain tile of the highest quality that reproduces the natural stone using cutting-edge high-definition inkjet technology. » This explains the appeal of the material and the name, which was chosen to evoke the allure of eastern lands. The Taj Mahal is a grandiose mausoleum and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Agra, India built by order of Moghul emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife, the Persian princess Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 while giving birth to their fourteenth child. The Taj Mahal is particularly famous for its use of high-quality natural white marble quarried in Makrana, Rajasthan and transported to Agra by caravans of elephants. In choosing the name, the designer of the Ceramica Campogalliano marble-effect porcelain tile collection was clearly inspired by this story and perhaps wanted to highlight the parallels in terms of quality between the tile and the natural marble from Makrana. But the two materials also share another characteristic which is particularly evident in the Welsh home discussed in this article. Just like the marble used in the mausoleum, the white Taj Mahal porcelain slabs from Ceramica Campogalliano used on the floors take on a wide variety of shades due to the changing nature of the light throughout the day. From dawn to dusk, the constantly-changing reflections of sunlight on the natural white marble surface multiply to produce kaleidoscopic effects. In the renovated house, the living room and veranda (perhaps a former orangery) open onto the exterior via two French windows and appear to be in complete symbiosis with nature. The large wood-frame windows with full-height glazing allow the gaze to wander over the hilly landscape and the deep greens of the semi-spontaneous Welsh vegetation. A low wall with porcelain top and floor-level skirting runs below the windows, serving as a support for objects and for seating. In a well-lit corner stands a bonsai with contorted branches, as though to mimic the bushes growing in the garden outside. A spartan solid wood table and a woven fibre covered seat stand at the centre. All the rooms display a carefully crafted spartan interior design – complete with all the essentials but free from superfluity. The measured spaces of the kitchen-dining area feature a few items of contemporary furniture along with the usual electrical appliances, where possible integrated into wall compartments. Pans, crockery and accessories are stored in a glass-fronted cupboard set into the corridor wall and framed by an archway. There are just a few ornaments on the worktops. Accent lighting illuminates the kitchen countertop while diffused suspension lamps hang above the dining table. The soft colours of the furniture and the walls create a sensation of warmth and blend in well with the rectified 60×60 cm Taj Mahal tiles of the floor. Because the house opens straight onto the garden there is clearly a risk of bringing in dirt from outside, so the tiles were chosen in a matt rather than polished finish for their greater resistance to foot traffic.

Ceramiche Campogalliano, Taj Mahal series
porcelain stoneware
60x60 cm Rettificato
Caractéristiques techniques
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): min. B
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): R ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R 9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
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