See Inside Zaha Hadid’s Magic Marble Factory

by Ronald Johnson

One might not always associate an established marble-design company based in Verona, Italy, with industry-leading innovation. For Citco, however, pushing the envelope of cutting-edge masonry is exactly what’s responsible for its success: strong relationships with design pioneers such as Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, and Arik Levy. Hadid, who died last March, was famous for morphing unexpected materials into galactic forms—alternately monumental and small—that defy imagination. According to Camiran Rasool, the founder of Citco, which opened its first showroom outside Italy in Miami’s Design District last month to coincide with Art Basel, finding solutions for tall creative challenges like Hadid’s is what sets his enterprise apart. “It was insistence and not taking no for an answer,” says Rasool when asked how his company began working with Hadid. “Once we got together and proved to them we could do with stone things they had always thought impossible, the relationship never stopped afterwards.” Here, a look behind the scenes at the company’s Verona headquarters, where the distinctive manufacturing process relies on six-axis engraving machines, water-jet cutting equipment, and the expert craftsmanship of its in-house artisans.

Final stage of production for a custom piece.

"Paisley" wall feature.

Detail of engraved custom piece.

Hand finishing of "Camelia" wall feature.

"Transparence" water-jet engraving.

A white Carrara marble "Valle" collection platter designed by Zaha Hadid.

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