An impressive design project on Lake Geneva: a “floating” marble beach.

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Pistore Marmi and ADAo Architects Together for a Major Design Project on Lake Geneva: a “Floating” Marble Beach

600 tons of finely worked Botticino marble, 1800 hours of mechanical processing, and 1000 hours of manual finishing. The result is a 19-meter-diameter bathing platform emerging from the waters of the lake at Quai de Cologny.

An Italian-Swiss team, composed of Pistore Marmi, ADAo Studio, and the Implenia Rampini Consortium, was established to realize this significant public work. This project presented a great challenge, both from an organizational and design perspective, as well as in terms of execution.

We are proud to announce our participation in a prestigious architectural project on Lake Geneva, where our company supplied the large Botticino marble blocks used to construct the new swimming platform inaugurated on June 18, 2024, at Quai de Cologny, Switzerland.

Quai de Cologny, which runs along the lake for about two kilometers, is one of Geneva’s most beautiful entryways. Since 2017, it has been part of a redevelopment project aimed at facilitating public access to the lake for swimmers and promoting biodiversity, creating “relais” for wildlife and innovative atmospheres that encourage observation and contemplation.

Our collaboration with the prestigious Swiss architectural firm ADAo, the Implenia Rampini Consortium, composed of leading construction companies, and the Municipality of Cologny has allowed us to turn a vision into reality, improving the accessibility and tourist appeal of the east shore of Lake Geneva by creating a swimming platform accessible to all citizens.

Nicolas Deville, architect and co-founder of studio ADAo, explains how the idea for this work, in which the association of stone and water has distant origins, came about:

“For this project, given the geological origins of Lake Geneva but also the legend linked to the figure of the giant Gargantua who is said to have dug the lake, the use of stone was an obvious choice. From the outset, there was a close relationship between lake and rock, between water and stone. Access to the bathing platform is via a path that crosses a reedbed. Made from blocks salvaged from the site, this path leads to a narrow footbridge spanning the last few metres separating the platform from the shore. It’s a kind of initiatory journey, designed to take one’s mind off the hustle and bustle of the quayside.

The bathing installation, a crescent of stones, creates a “port of bathers”. The broken circle orients the figure towards the Geneva harbor and its Jet d’eau. This timeless construction seems unfinished, or perhaps it’s already partially “in ruins”.

In short, there’s something improbable about this “crescent” of stones on the water. This assemblage of meticulously selected, cut and sawn blocks of Botticino marble speaks to us of the context, the history of the place and the ability of rock to stand the test of time without losing its substance. Stone and water, immobile stability surrounded by an ever-changing liquid mass. Mineral matter, frozen and petrified, versus fluid in perpetual motion.

Omnipresent in our lakeside projects, the figure of the circle is broken here to interrupt the circular, infinite movement in order to instill calm and stability into the construction. This space offers people a place to relax and contemplate the landscape.”

The platform, supported by a steel structure fixed to the lake bed that makes the marble surface appear to float, has an outer diameter of 18.80 meters and an inner diameter of 10.86 meters. Thanks to its “C” shape, it allows swimmers to move both within the semicircle, in a wave-protected pool, and outside, in open waters. The platform is connected to the mainland by an 11-meter-long walkway composed of 7 blocks of the same marble.

Botticino marble, known for its timeless elegance and durability, was chosen by the architects of the ADAo studio in Geneva to create a work that integrates perfectly with the natural environment and the color of the surrounding buildings.

Once the production of the 67 blocks was completed in our workshop, they were loaded onto 14 trucks to reach Quai de Cologny. Subsequently, using a barge and a crane arm, the marble blocks were placed on the walkway and the steel structure emerging from the water.

Work was completed in early June, and the inauguration, in the presence of Swiss authorities and all involved parties, was held on June 18th.

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Noé Pasquale, owner of Pistore Marmi, expressed pride and satisfaction with the result, also highlighting the challenges and difficulties faced in realizing this project:

“It was not easy to obtain the dimensions and type of marble requested by the clients, especially considering the large quantities. We spent an entire month in the Botticino quarry (Brescia) waiting for and selecting the best pieces, as it was the mountain itself that had to “provide” us with the blocks we needed. Initially, we selected rough blocks 4 meters long to be then worked with CNC machines and given a trapezoidal shape, bringing them to the required dimensions. The marbles, 50 centimeters high, had to have widths ranging from 2.5 meters to 1.5 meters, with a depth of 1.7 meters. The blocks were cut and drilled with millimeter precision to ensure they were fixed to the steel support structure during installation. Additionally, the marbles had to be non-slip, with beveled edges.

The attention to detail and craftsmanship that we guarantee in small interior design projects was also applied to these large block works. Finally, the organizational and logistical aspects were important and represented a significant challenge, as we had to coordinate with logistics partners and international collaborators to ensure regular and punctual delivery to the construction site.

This work is a great source of satisfaction for our company. The result is truly amazing and rewards us for the great effort and commitment we have put in.”

This project highlights our commitment to providing high-quality design solutions that also respect and enhance the natural and public environment. The result is a platform on the water that combines aesthetics and functionality, offering a refined, functional, and welcoming space for swimmers.

Our company continues to stand out in the marble processing sector thanks to the ability to meet the needs of demanding clients worldwide, both for small residential and commercial projects and for larger, more important projects in public spaces. With a tradition of artisanal excellence and technological innovation, we can create bespoke projects that reflect the beauty and uniqueness of marble, with the utmost care and attention to detail typical of Made in Italy.

Click here to download the photos of the project and the inauguration.

marble water platform drone pic 2
Drone photo credit: Le Collectif

Download here the press release:

Discover all the details of the project on the dedicated page by clicking here!