Gabriele Salvatori describes our bespoke service
A conversation with Gabriele Salvatori
What are the main reasons architects and specifiers choose Salvatori?
I think something they really appreciate about working with us is that we don’t believe in the words “That’s not possible”. We love a challenge, and our technical department are engineering wizards and great at thinking outside of the box. We’ll do everything we can to find a way to turn an architect’s vision into reality. When we can sit with the architect and understand what they want to achieve, it’s very fruitful because sometimes we can also suggest things as a result of our experience working with stone.
How do you support architects and specifiers?
Besides helping find solutions, we try to simplify things as much as possible so that the architect or specifier can focus on their job, rather than having to worry about logistics and other matters. So, for example, we’ll package everything by room so that when it arrives at the building site, there is no time wasted in opening crates, extracting five basins, for example, and having to move them around the site, then do the same with tiles, shower trays and so on. We also offer services such as installation, maintenance and of course bespoke. And, BIM is crucial today to enable a project to run smoothly, so we have a complete BIM library and all our products are also available in SketchUp.
Does the size of a project make a difference, or do you offer the same level of support no matter what?
We’re always happy to support any project, but it’s generally the bigger ones which pose the greatest challenges to the architect or general contractor. That could be for all sorts of reasons, but usually it’s about finding smart ways to optimise the budget yet still have a luxury product, or logistics.
What are the relative advantages of bespoke and standard products? Both for the client and you as a company?
With standard products the client enjoys optimised costs and faster lead times, and for us it obviously simplifies production. In reality, the term “standard” isn’t particularly accurate with us because most of our products are offered in at least four different stones and a number of different textures so you have a load of combinations. And, with many products such as tables, cabinets and basins, there is a customisable standard option, which allows you to modify the dimensions within certain parameters.
Bespoke products mean no compromise for the client, so you get exactly what you want, right down to the millimetre. For us, the advantage here is that it often means we get involved in the project which can sometimes be a stimulating experience, and it pushes us, something we enjoy.
How do you feel when you receive requests for products or solutions that seem impossible to pull off, for technical or logistical reasons for example?
We relish these! We’ve invented new machines, for example, to create and manoeuvre oversize slabs for a huge project when everyone else said it was impossible. We’ve developed packaging solutions for difficult locations which saved hours of time on site moving things around. For the roof of John Pawson’s House of Stone which used our Lithoverde, we invented a way of fixing enormous stone tiles with super-strong magnets. Where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way!