The New Stone Age – Signorino Tile Gallery
For more than 50 years, Signorino Tile Gallery has applied a curatorial lens to its search for the world’s finest natural stone. In the company’s Stone Gallery and its four showrooms around Australia, Signorino elevates stone to an art form for a discerning clientele.
It’s impossible to replicate a piece of natural stone, each slab singularly crafted by time and conditions over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. If the confident markings of a Calacatta Verde resemble the gestural brushstrokes of an abstract expressionist painter, then the subtle abstract veining of a Desert Silver could be a heathered sheet of paper, casually origamied into haphazard creases.
In its Stone Gallery in Altona, Victoria, Signorino celebrates the distinct artistic qualities of each stone in its collection. The purpose-built gallery houses thousands of world-class stone slabs, making it the largest showroom of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Four additional showroom locations have recently received extensive refurbishment, extending Signorino’s vision across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane.
As a natural material, stone realises its fullest expression when woven into a sympathetic palette, exhibiting the dexterity to play on almost any scale. Employed in major projects – including airports in Melbourne, Sydney, Coolangatta and Launceston – an expanse of Signorino stone imparts a stately elegance, while a palm-sized sliver of lush Amazonite, dappled with jade and rose, is sufficient to enliven a living-room cabinet when crafted into bespoke door pulls for a residential project. At any dimension, natural stone has a low carbon footprint over its entire life cycle, requiring few other resources to produce and generating no by-products. It’s durable, long-wearing and relatively easy to maintain, eventually contributing to a circular economy by being infinitely recyclable.
In the 50-plus years since he founded the company as a small inner-Melbourne shop front, Managing Director John Signorino has built a reputation for sourcing exquisite stone from quarries around the world, together with a luxurious range of terrazzo and porcelain tiles from Italy and Asia. Equally, the company prides itself on the long-term relationships it builds with leading manufacturers across the globe, who act as co-creators in the beauty and art of natural stone.