ARK Architects always striving for excellence
Manuel Ruiz Moriche, creative director and chief architect of ARK Architects visits the Carrara marble quarries.
In his constant search for excellence and the best materials, Manuel R. Moriche’s travels around the world are a matter of course. The times of coronavirus have diminished those possibilities but now we are back to normal.
Getting the best raw materials from the source is one of the hallmarks of ARK Architects. By making boutique products, ARK villas are a totally different product in architecture and construction on the Costa del Sol.
One of Manuel R. Moriche’s latest trips has been to various natural stone quarries in Italy.
Carrara marble is one of the most prestigious marbles in the world. over history, it has been used for some remarkable buildings. Think of the Pantheon in Rome or Michelangelo’s iconic statue, David. The luxury stone comes from the Apuan Alps, a mountain range in northern Tuscany that stretches for 58 km and reaches 2,000 meters high.
Marble has been carved here since the Ancient Roman times, and because of its millennial history, the Carrara quarries have produced more marble than any other place on Earth. The market as a whole is worth over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) and produces 4 million tons of marble every year, with 13,000 people involved. The quarries were even featured in a James Bond movie, with Daniel Craig driving an Aston Martin DBS up the marble slopes.
We visited two quarries: Cava Querciola, number 147, and Cava Fiordichiara, number 76, which is a cave inside a mountain. Marble extraction in Carrara is done with a 5-millimeter diamond wire or with big chainsaws.