When it comes to specifying furniture, fixtures and fittings, we can’t all be experts but our suppliers can. These days, those who deliver the elements that make our projects are also an invaluable part of the creative process.
What we are seeing is a rethinking of the concept of a supply-chain, to more of a creative eco-system that encompasses the manufacturer, the home-owner and everyone in between. At the forefront of this is Artedomus, who specialise in architectural finishes and products predominantly made from natural stone and porcelain.
For 34 years the company formerly known as Domus Ceramics has been importing exclusive Italian floor and wall finishes, but as the industry changed so did they. Today, managing director Phil Brenton says, 'We don’t see ourselves as a supplier of tiles or a supplier of bathware, we see ourselves as being part of the design industry.'
Artedomus' Sydney showroom aims to inspire.
So how do they do that, and what does this way of thinking mean for the end result?
For those who have wandered past John Wardle Architect’s new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music recently, you may have noticed a myriad of small egg-shaped tiles inserted into the concrete façade. There are 60,000 of them to be precise, all custom with differing glazes – a collaboration between the architect, Artedomus and Japanese manufacturer INAX.
Clearly this is not the kind of collaboration that is suitable for a residential home, but it is an example of what is possible given the relationship Brenton and his team hold with their local and international networks. The trickle down of this is their ability to work with companies like INAX to develop custom glazes and colours for individual projects and the Australian market.
The recently built Shutter House in Perth saw the designers, State of Kin, approach Artedomus with a request for a specific green tile. Local representative William Stransky, who holds a major in Japanese language, worked with INAX and the designers to develop various shades of green glazing until the right one was defined – now a part of their local product line and a feature of the home.
Artedomus' Perth showroom with the custom green Sugie INAX tiles.
And there’s the other key to the eco-system. Location. With showrooms, sales teams and warehouses across the nation, they are able to work directly with architects, designers and builders to achieve the desired outcome.
For Artedomus and their clients, customisation isn’t just limited to colour as we discovered here with the development of glazes that are easier to clean and compositions that are more in-line with our aesthetic desires. Nor are they limited to the finishes and, under the creative direction of designer Thomas Coward, Artedomus have launched their own series of tiles and objects utilising stones they have exclusive access to.
The Semper Vase by Dale Hardiman for New Volumes.
Pulling together the who-is-who of Australian furniture designers, Coward developed New Volumes – made from Elba stone, sourced from a single quarry in Greece. It is the same material he crafted the Artesserae range of mosaics from, a stone introduced to Australia some fifteen years ago by Artedomus and used extensively through their Sydney showroom, Casa Artedomus.
The Artesserae mosaic by Thomas Coward. Photographed by Haydn Cattach and Styled by Marsha Golmac.
It shows a commitment to the industry and Australian designers, to be launching products that require such technical knowledge and manufacturing power, specifically for a market such as Australia but as Yassaman Bahar, part of their Melbourne team identifies, 'Our driving philosophy at Artedomus is to inspire architects, designers and anyone interested in design.'
For more information on Artedomus visit their website
WRITTEN BY HouseLab