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Musical marble: the limited series of Introverso basins from Paolo Ulian for Antonio Lupi

Musical marble: the limited series of Introverso basins from Paolo Ulian for Antonio Lupi


Italian sculptor and designer Paolo Ulian has created a new limited series of Introverso free-standing basins made from white Carrara marble, a design that combines exquisite hand chiselling with precision machining. This is more than just a bathroom fixture: it is an intricate "musical instrument", a cylindrical stone block cut into layers at varying depths with a diamond saw.



Thanks to an acquaintance with Antonio Lupi art director Andrea Lupi and ever-evolving digital technologies, Paolo Ulian was able to launch this new line of free-standing sinks. Last year Ulian presented a similar method for decorating marble pieces at a personal exhibition, "Paolo Ulian: the lightness of intuition", at the Palazzo Mediceo in Seravezza in Tuscany. Born in Massa-Carrara, Ulian has years of experience working with marble. Today he creates exclusive interior accessories that reveal previously hidden properties of marble.



The Introverso basin has a dual structure: the lightweight external slats are cut on special CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines using a diamond disc, while the solid core flares and tapers, resembling a curved vase, an hourglass or an ancient drinking fountain. Innovative technology has been used to create this unique basin, cutting a block of what is traditionally considered to be one of the finest marbles into a sculpture with a precise physical and visual relief effect.



A glance at the perfect proportions of the marble block, which loses its monolithic appearance thanks to the numerous layers, reveals a delicate interplay of light and shadow. However, what truly sets this basin apart is the gentle, pleasing and natural sound produced when one runs a hand along it, a thrum emanating from the basin's stone heart. The unusual decorating process imbues the piece with a certain expressiveness that goes beyond simple ergonomics and functionality. Despite its apparent fragility, the structure is very strong. The basin's owner is free to choose whether to leave the structure intact, or to bare the concealed monolithic core by smashing away the marble edges of its exterior shell with a hammer. 



Photos: © Paolo Ulian

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