Based in Vetschau, close to Berlin, Porcelaingres typifies the increasing globalisation of the ceramic sector. An affiliate of GranitiFiandre, Porcelaingres was founded in 2003 to produce high quality porcelain slabs in one of Europe’s most cutting-edge production facilities. Porcelaingres is able to draw on the technical expertise of the group’s holding company, Iris Ceramica; with its production driven by principles of sustainability.
Porcelaingres believes that the combination of Italian creativity, experience and style with German organisation and efficiency is particularly fertile: “We are not looking at two distinct worlds, but a single business that works in harmony by constantly sharing values and design. At the helm of the company are people with extensive expertise in the field, who speak the same shared language and can transform diversity, identity elements and cultural approaches into prosperity.”
At Cersaie 2017, this was most clearly seen in the Urban collection and its new larger format – Urban Great. This is a clean and appealing design that is timeless, and lends itself well to a variety of uses and settings. This is reflected in the three different thicknesses (6, 8, and 20mm), available in all six colours in the range, are a natural culmination of the collection.
To present it’s new ranges in the most effective manner, Procelaingres has harnessed the power of virtual reality. Called Urban House, it allows Urban and Urban Great to come to life within modern residential architecture where materials distinguish and enhance the interior and exterior living spaces. This virtual project showcases the versatility of the material, and a variety of applications, through an immersive 360° view.
Urban House is essentially the first virtual rendering of a complex, complete and concrete ceramic project, where design and technology come together to explore new possible developments in porcelain stoneware and overcome the limitations that reality often puts in the way. The idea of applying the technology of immersive virtual reality to a comprehensive project of this kind, allows designers and end users to experience the setting and view the company’s new materials up close.
Sensors are used to detect the user in the area. This allows the technology to follow users as they move and explore their interior. Users can switch the colours of the materials, and see daytime and nighttime effects; thereby transcending the limits imposed by reality itself, and thus enjoy unique and unprecedented inspirations for design.
Porcelaingres also offers its customers Urban Corner, a space that can be customised to allow retailers or designers to show end customers the full world of Urban, as well as the full range of stoneware applications using immersive reality. As they can be used in showrooms, within relatively small areas (3,000 by 3,000, 2,400 by 2,400mm, or 2,000 by 3,000mm), Urban Corners are billed as a revolutionary, one-of-a-kind communication tool, that shift the focus from the real to the virtual, complementing traditional product displays that make up for the only sense that’s missing from virtual reality: touch!
Solid, textured and filled with vitality, the Urban collection by Porcelaingres is inspired by the materials and colours of the city and recreates its look with slabs in a variety of formats and thicknesses: classic 300 by 600, 600 by 600 and 1,200 by600mm in 8 mm; large format 750 by 750 and 1,500 by 750mm in 6mm; and, lastly, outdoor products in 600 by 600 and 1,200 by 600mm, in 20mm. The collection is enhanced by a colour range of dove, grey, anthracite, sand, ivory and white. The Weave decor is available in all colours, in 600 by 600 and 150 by 150mm.
Porcelaingres’ Urban Great collection provides larger sizes that, with a thickness of just 6mm, helps reduce environmental impact, both in the production phase and during transportation. The colour options are Anthracite, Dove, Grey, Sand, Ivory, White. All available in a 6mm thickness: the format options are 3,000 by 1,000, 1,500 by 1,000, and 1,000 by 1,000mm.
The Soft Concrete range aims to rediscovering the elegance and tradition of France during the belle époque, creating the look of a living material transformed by time, bestowing myriad nuances that make each slab unique. The wide variety of the surfaces and their natural appearance – highly textured yet soft – lends itself well to both modern and shabby chic interiors, as well as country and retro settings.
The range is available in formats 1,200 by 600, 600 by 600, and 600 by 300mm and a colour palette that includes: soft white, soft beige, soft greige, soft brown, and soft iron, as well as a 600 by 600mm décor that echoes the now faded design of classic hexagonal cementine tiles.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, November 2017.