Last October I was invited by Kemie to travel to Almeria in southern Spain to visit the Cosentino Group quarry and factory.
You probably have an idea of what a quarry looks like; a hilltop where layer upon layer of marble and stone is being hacked out. And you’d be right! But what I hadn’t realised until this visit was the sheer scale of the operation. The visitors’platform gave us a great view over the quarry, and we could see the seams of marble undulating beneath the upper layer of the mountain. From where we were standing, blocks of stone looked like tiny bricks of lego; but when you saw that only one or two of these lego bricks could be transported on a truck at a time, it dawned on you just how gigantic and heavy the blocks must be.
After this visit we were given a tour of the factory – and what a surprise was waiting for us there! There was the bustling head office which creates and develops innovation; we were shown the extensive sample library which is at the disposal of architects and designers; a showroom where materials are incorporated into interior designs; the design department where designers sparred with us about colour trends and product innovations which they develop based on trend forecasts; and after an extensive tour of the entire plant, (the newest production line is 1km long!) there was a Q&A session with one of the board members; Mr Paco Cosentino himself. He proudly told about the innovations in his company.
Whenever you work with stone, a lot of waste is generated: waste caused during cutting and other processes. The percentage of waste is so high that Cosentino developed its own products that can be made from this waste, which are marketed as Dekton and Silestone.
Dekton is ideal for exterior products such as cladding due to its UV-resistance and water-repellent qualities that can be produced in large formats. But the fact that it is available in different thicknesses and is heat resistant means it has many uses indoors too – it makes a perfect floor and wall covering in the kitchen and bathroom.
Silestone is a compound made up of 94% natural quartz, which makes it extremely hard and durable. It is then overprinted with different finishes – think marble or concrete look, but without the porousness and tarnishing.
The Cosentino Group is a good example of a traditional family company, processing a natural product that has set itself the mission not to stand still, but rather to invest in the modernisation of the company and making the reduction of its impact on humans and the planet paramount. Sustainability and technological innovations are key; not only in the reduction of waste, but also, for example, by thinking about the water consumption during the sawing of the marble blocks. They have implemented a recycling system of retention, purification and reuse in this process.
And … I haven’t even mentioned the Aladdin’s cave yet; a gigantic hall filled with slabs of marble and onyx the likes of which I’ve never seen before. So, if you’re looking for something special, look no further! Please contact HEMELSby on + 31 (0) 35 69 89 669 or André Kroeze from Kemie on + 31 (0) 88 26 26 410. We’re happy to help you.
Cosentino was originally a family business based in Spain and specialising in marble. Today, the Cosentino Group operates worldwide and produces and distributes high-quality surface covering for the design and architecture world. Kemie is our partner in the field of kitchen worktops and more.