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Eiffelgres: sustainable design

Today it is no longer possible to design a building or an object without thinking of the environment. This concept has been clear to Eiffelgres ever since it was founded in 2001.
Dott. Romano Minozzi wanted the company to join the Iris Group with a clear vocation: testifying to excellence in environmentally sustainable construction, primarily by investing in the latest research and technologies. A choice that will ensure Eiffelgres stands out among technical porcelain stoneware manufacturers. This drive, supported by major investment, has allowed the company to qualify for the most illustrious acknowledgements of the certification institutions, obtaining quality marks such as ISO 9001, 14001, ANAB and LEED®.
Eiffelgres’ plant in Viano, in the province of Reggio Emilia, is one of the world’s most technologically advanced, in which a process involving interaction between human resources and innovative software programmes produces tiles that reproduce natural stones with kaolin clays, quartzes and feldspars. The production system ensures that the tiles are as true as possible to the natural stone even while offering the technical qualities of porcelain stoneware. Hardness, frostproofness and waterproofness are the primary qualities of this material, which maintains all the charm of natural stone with no need for enamels. Colour runs right through the mass of material to create a tone-on-tone look that reproduces the hues of nature. Calibrated sizes allow plenty of room for creativity in compositional effects created with Eiffelgres products, while maintenance of the materials’ performance is guaranteed for years.
Reproducing stones with a focus on environmental impact has required significant economic and human investment. At a cost of 50 million euro, Eiffelgres has built a 45,000 m2 indoor area on a 94,000 m2 lot: figures that immediately convey just how strongly the company’s management believes in this project, capable of producing more than 5,000,000 m2 of floor and wall tiles a year while concretely working to protect the environment. People and technology underlie Eiffelgres’ philosophy for guaranteeing top quality high-tech porcelain stoneware.
The collections reflect the company’s philosophy, divided into two classes: Estyle and Estone. The first of these, dedicated to style, includes lines revealing the harmony between nature and form, thought and image: tiles that derive from the earth to express signs generating shadows, exploiting the effects of chiaroscuro and different hues, all in a stylistic idiom capable of defining the character of the living space. The second of these uses matter to generate more matter, drawing inspiration from stone slabs and their harmonious properties to return all their qualities to us in different sizes. All testifying to research into the properties and details of stone materials displaying astounding creativity and ingenuity.


What a surface is meant to be

In 1969 Louis Kahn wrote in “Space and the inspiration” : “ ... Light calls up presences, projects its shadow, which belongs to light. That which is done belongs to light and to desire...”. And in the same year, said at the ETH Conference in Zurich: “... We might say that light, creator of all presences, is what produces a material, and the material is made to project a shadow, and the shadow belongs to light...”. And so light and shadow allow matter to express itself.
Eiffelgres has made these teachings its own, adding emotion and desire to its surfaces. A statement of intent that makes it one of those companies that manage to combine quality design with poetics and a focus on the environment. An honest way of doing design which only a few enterprises can match today.
Louis Kahn saw light as the creator of all presences, the ground zero of design, the exploration of shadows that may be associated with it, without betraying matter and its history, to make a surface what it wants to be. Eiffelgres is capable of interpreting this intention of matter, creating floor and wall coverings which follow the movements of light, at all angles, from direct to grazing, revealing all the details. A single intention transposed into two types of collections: Estyle and Estone, where style, light and earth come together to become a product for living.
But industrial design is about more than just the poetics of matter and its ability to become design; to do this, it must respond to the new productive technologies and the need to protect the environment. Eiffelgres does both.
Porcelain stoneware tiles are created through sophisticated phases of production and automation of the productive cycle, with quality control recognised by ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications. The company’s conscious use of advanced technologies allows it to create aesthetically refined, quality materials. All this experience does not stop with making the product and designing its surface alone, but takes the form of a range of sizes that allow the architect to work with great flexibility and creativity. And here Louis Kahn’s Space and the inspiration comes into the picture again, stating that “...design gives the elements a configuration, extracts them from their mental existence and gives them a tangible presence...”. This passage is still relevant 40 years later. The great architect talked about the composition of architectural elements through all the parts that make up a building, from the shape to its components. An ineluctable openness towards everything the theory of architecture wishes to express: designing the whole through its parts, to be experienced in becoming. And it is in creation of the parts that Eiffelgres responds to the market, giving components a tangible presence to be reinterpreted by designers. Louis Kahn’s vision extended beyond time and fashions, because architectural composition is, now more than ever, pervaded by his studies, in that all works of architecture are designed by putting together parts and revealed by light. The design of the Eiffelgres product fits perfectly into this line of thought, as surfaces designed to be parts of the whole construction, capable of revealing the character of space.
Good design also has another essential component: consideration of environmental impact. A true vocation for Eiffelgres ever since it was founded, an area in which the company has taken concrete steps, earning ISO 14001 certification, the ANAB mark and LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Green Building Rating System™) recognition. ISO 14001 certification defines how an effective environmental management system should be developed to make an active contribution to protecting and promoting proper use of land and its natural resources, guaranteeing sustainable industry. The ANAB mark certifies the ethical and environmental sustainability of building materials, and was awarded to Eiffelgres surfaces after examining the entire product life cycle: from raw materials procurement to final use. LEED® is a voluntary certification programme which aims to boost and promote the high performance of sustainable buildings. The Leed programme is divided into five categories assessing the requirements a sustainable building must meet to be defined as such. Eiffelgres porcelain stoneware is a building material included in the fourth category, for assessment of materials and resources, and has obtained recognition for the percentage of recycled material used in production: 40% by weight. In addition to declaring Eiffelgres’ strong propensity for protecting the environment, these certifications give Eiffelgres surfaces the intellectual weight they need to give tangible form to honesty in industrial design.
Eiffelgres produces not only a decorative skin but a set of gears for design that make it a concrete product of industrial design. Surfaces designed with the technical and industrial qualities required for architectural design. Poetics, technology and respect for the environment are more than just words: they are reality for Eiffelgres.

Eiffelgres plant in Viano

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Corporate info

Commercial Division

Via Ghiarola Nuova, 119
Fiorano Modenese (MO) 41042 Italia
Tel. +39 0536 862.111 · Fax: +39 0536 862.473


GranitiFiandre S.p.A
Via Radici Nord, 112
42014 Castellarano (Reggio Emilia) - Italy
Tel: 0536 819611
Fax: (+39) 0536 858082 (Italia)
(+39) 0536 850088/857065 (Estero)

Cap.Soc. € 18.431.339 i.v.
R.I. di RE n.03056540374
R.E.A. n. 151772
Mecc. RE 006481
P.IVA. 01411010356
Cod. Fiscale: 03056540374
Cod. CEE: IT 01411010356


Via Gargola, 4
42030 Viano (RE) - Italy - EU