Terrazzo specialist Diespeker & Co has revealed the company’s most complex bespoke terrazzo project to date; a dazzling, fully working indoor fountain.
The fountain is central to the ‘indoor piazza’ style of one of London’s newest Italian eateries, VICO with its tantalizing ice cream parlour. VICO’s menu is influenced by South-Central Italy, offering, alongside VICO’s popular street foods, Roman pizzas, Neapolitan pastas and Apulian vegetables. Desserts include Neapolitan pastries and sundaes of Gelupo gelato.
VICO co-owner Jacob Kenedy was enthused by the fountain project from the start. He said:
“The original concept for VICO was to be an indoor space that felt and functioned like an Italian piazza, and that remains the ambiance I aim to create today. Core to this idea was a grand fountain at the centre of the piazza, many-tiered, and hand-made in authentic terrazzo (a traditional Italian material, mostly used for flooring), in an intense ultramarine blue with polished brass flecks to give the appearance of Lapis Lazuli.
“There are very few craftspeople who work in terrazzo in the UK, and only one firm who we felt could execute such a challenging and ambitious project, and Diespeker are rightfully proud of a job that took all their skill and expertise to execute. The fountain breathes life, light and movement into the heart of VICO, and such an esoterically Italian public monument in the middle of the room makes it immediately feel like an outdoor, public, Italian space – the very piazza I wish to be transported to, every time I escape the frenetic streetscape of Cambridge Circus into a space I can truly enjoy myself.”
For the project, Diespeker’s terrazzo team developed a number of unique terrazzo/chipping combinations to achieve the desired effect of Lapis Lazuli. The bright, blue pigment was sourced in America, with glass chippings imported from Canada. In addition, brass rods were cut into tiny 5mm lengths and painstakingly bonded one at a time to the mould by hand.
The fountain sections were created using bespoke moulds, and required the insertion of complicated piping, to feed the water into the fountain and allow it to flow steadily down the outside of the structure. After the moulds were set, the terrazzo underwent hand grinding and polishing to create a smooth, high gloss finish.
The fountain took several months to create using bespoke moulds and was transported to its final location in nine sections.
“This was the most complex item we have ever made in our London workshops,” said Diespeker’s Managing Director, John Krause.
“It stretched our production skills to the max, including working out the plumbing elements of the terrazzo fountain – something we’ve never had to do before. However, having something so creative to work on was really exciting, and we know there’s nothing like it anywhere else.”
As well as the fountain, Diespeker made two stunning counter top units for the ice cream parlour, one in bespoke light blue with pink infill terrazzo spelling the name, Gelupo, and the other in a bespoke yellow terrazzo.