The Burlington Arcade in London, a historic icon of the most exclusive shopping and Europe’s first commercial arcade, reopens its gates, in July, with a new guise by Margraf, ambassador for the best in design and technology “made in Italy” around the world. Nestled as a rare pearl between New Bond Street and the Royal Academy, the famous arcade, which connects Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens, was commissioned by Lord George Cavendish and completed in 1819, a project of the architect Samuel Ware.
In the course of its 196 years of history, the Burlington Arcade has experienced several renovations without altering its original appearance. Its interior hosts 72 boutiques of prestigious international brands that offer the best of their collections for very demanding and refined customers.
Originally paved with thick slabs of York stone, the gallery floor was replaced in 1960 and then again in 1990 with somewhat jarring terrazzo tiling. Following numerous protests, the owner Meyer Bergman commissioned the prestigious firm Jamie Fobert Architects with the renovation works.
After months of research and experimentation, Margraf was selected as a partner of excellence for this new challenge: it is one of the few companies in the world with extraordinary technological expertise in water-jet cutting, a must for this important project.
The design of the new flooring takes inspiration from the shape of the arches that make up the gallery and from various styles of British flooring in the 19th century. It is composed of 4 British stones featuring various shades of grey: Moorcroft, Ashburton, Mendip marble and Burlington, cut into miles of small pieces.
Margraf’s experience and technology involved the most difficult phases of the marble machining, from the cutting to the prelaying (shaped, pre-laid floor, with three-dimensional effect, composed of 64,000 geometric pieces).
In total, the Vicenza-based company created 15,000 linear metres of marble and stone cut with water-jet, approximately 100 square metres of flooring, which covers the 200 m in length of the Burlington Arcade. The project involved a total of 150 tons of machined marble, 8 weeks of cutting and 4 months to lay the floor.