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CUORTA BAU WORKS OVER A HUNDRED TYPES OF STONE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
The real natural stone is a material formed over thousands of years and for this reason destined to last for ever. For centuries natural stone has embellished and combined top quality with exclusive design for interior and exterior applications. The experience of Cuorta Bau, centred in Celerina, is rooted in these principles: process, deliver and mount exactly the stone the customer is looking for. The workshop working the natural stone was opened in 2001, previously under the name of Rizzi AG. From then on the family run business with Stefano Del Curto has specialized in making products in stone, having a well-stocked warehouse with a vast assortment. 12 people are employed to assist in the various sectors of architecture, stone working and mounting. Working with a Cnc type milling machine, the results are always exact and each work precise down to the last millimetre.
The Cuorta Bau workshop is the only one of its kind in Upper Engadine: producing solid stone sinks, finished off by hand at the bench, where stone alternates with other materials. A complicated job, requiring specific experience and sensitivity: as all is finished by hand and each piece can therefore be said to be unique. Local Swiss or Italian materials, granites, marbles and gneiss imported from all over the world are worked, as well as a hundred types of stone. The business recently started to work self-levelling or spatulated epoxy resin, making flooring and surfacing in all colours and decorations to satisfy all whims and fancies.
The firm covers commercial, private and hotel building sectors on domestic and international markets: for example in Italia and Ticino, Cuorta Bau realizes large-scale projects in commercial spaces designed by world famous designers. The firm also provides the customer with logistics and personal advice: gaining by its excellent experience, it will also recommend the materials or work processes most suited to the various situations, always with high quality standards.
CUORTA BAU, THE UNIQUE ARTISAN WORKSHOP OF THE UPPER ENGADINE
From the typical wall done in stone without mortar to construction in Engadine style to hypermodern resins used to create contrasts with traditional materials, the artisan workshop Cuorta Bau is able to cover the whole field regarding flooring and wall-coverings, proposing the ideal solution for each specific need. The latest trend which is occupying the staff at Cuorta Bau is the sector of retail activities, which require ever more insertion of elements in natural stone into their interior and exterior shop designs. The fascination of natural stone, which is very modern but at the same time has an ancient heart, represent a true luxury asset for those who intend to add value in a picturesque way to their shop or store. The impact of solutions in stone for flooring, wall coverings, and furniture, perfectly ties into the elegance and prestige that are required in modem showrooms - natural stones with their clean and essential lines contribute to giving a special touch to architectural solutions, be they minimalist or otherwise. Resins too, a very innovative technology which is making a place for itself on the market, are an option which Cuorta Bau has been able to propose now for quite some time, having dedicated special training for this.
As for the rest it utilizes natural stone in buildings for their interiors and exteriors making an artistic artisan tradition trendy in the present for modem needs, but without sacrificing its own timeless fascination. This is the guiding philosophy at Cuorta Bau, which is still the only artisan workshop in the Upper Engadine that specializes in the working of natural stones, marbles, and granites. It was founded in 2001 thanks to the intuition of owner, Stefano Del Curto, and it moved in 2005 to its present home on Via Nouva in Celerina which has a warehouse for cutting stone. Semi-worked materials, both local and intemational (the very great set of samples placed at the clientele's disposal includes granites, marbles, and quality gneiss, coming from Italiy and all over the world) arrive here directly from their quarries in the form of rough-hewn stone blocks. In the workshop they are cut, treated, and finished by Cuorta Bau's qualified artisans to make the stone ready to be set.
"We offer a service that is truly turnkey - Stefano Del Curto assures us - our business model, which thanks to the cutting warehouse can base itself on characteristics that are not common in this region, such as polyvalence, ductility, quick response time, and flexibility, allow us to meet every type of need on the part of our clients, including the most original and particular'. With this in mind, our relationships with architects are fundamental to study solutions for interior and exterior design. Stefano Del Curto has already worked alongside many architects of international fame. The "plus" that Cuorta Bau places at the disposal of professionals, who often in Engadina arrive from abroad, is logistics backing. We are their point of reference in loco, and we put them in contact with the various local artisans who they may need - underlines Lorenzo Lorenzi, who works with the Cuorta Bau's German-speaking clientele.
Familiarity and flexibility are married to experience and passion, which is the real "springboard" which pushes Cuorta Bau into the guaranteeing of a service which takes care of the quality of the result even before that of the earnings. To look to the future and consolidate its special position on the Upper Engadine market, Cuorta Bau is taking significant steps. On the one hand, in a sense of renewal, with the insertion of young people: an architect, Andrea Scaramella, able to dialogue more quickly with "external architects, and Nicola Del Curto, the second generation in the family company (soon to be joined by his sister, Serena Del Curto), who will take over the stoneworking, administration, and marketing departments. On the other, with an eye to diversification, with the launching, more than a year ago, of the company called Max, which does interior and exterior cleaning, thereby offering a complete service to the clients of the Upper Engadine that ranges from domestic cleaning to assistance and custodial services for real estate, all the way to small maintenance jobs. A sort of continuation of the work carried out by the core business of supplying and installing natural stone, which represents at the same time an attempt to ensure the fidelity of clients and a guarantee of quality for the work, since the relationship with the client thereby continues.
CUORTA BAU WIDENS ITS HORIZONS INTRODUCING NEW MATERIALS AND SERVICES
The use of natural stone in building interiors and exteriors is the inheritance of a tradition of artistic craftsmanship that can renewed itself and move with moderm times without losing its own timeless fascination. This is the philosophy that guides the activity at Cuorta Bau, an artisan workshop which works natural stones, marbles, and granites. It was created in 2001 following the insight of its owner, Stefano Del Curto, and moved in 2005 to its present headquarters in Celerina with its own stone-cutting warehouse. It is a one and only enterprise of its kind in the region of the Upper Engadine: to its workshop on Via Nouva come – straight from the quarries – partially worked stone (granite, marble, gneiss, from Italy and every part of the world, given the ample range of stone samples placed at the client's disposal) and blocks of rough stone which are then cut, processed and finished by the qualified workers at Cuorta Bau before being used on the building site. "It is a service that the ordinary mason cannot offer – underlines Stefano Del Curto – the presence of a back-up point of support like our warehouse for stone-cutting guarantees us flexibility with respect to the needs of our clientele and a quick response time in addition to permitting us to handle last minute changes making us exceptional in the region of Saint Moritz".
The art creations shaped in the workshop of Cuorta Bau can be used in multiple situations, for interiors and exteriors: flooring, wall coverings and facades, furnishings like splitstone fireplaces, marble sinks, or granite stairs. From rustic mountain dwellings to the elegance of prestigious showrooms.
Cuorta Bau places its own "art" side by side with famous architectural studios: Pensa Architekten AG of St. Moritz, Valar + Klainguti SA of Zuoz, Immoblliengesellschaft Hübeli AG of St. Moritz, the architect Marco Murari in Milano and the Studio Baciocchi in Arezzo. Just to give more credibility and flexibility to the solution of possible technical problems, an architect, Andrea Scaramella, has been added to the staff of Cuorta Bau, a choice called for by the necessity of facilitating and making more direct and immediate the dialogue between "external" architects with which the workshop in Celerina collaborates on a regular basis.
This is a signal of an important moment of transformation and growth to which Cuorta Bau has given a push in the last year to keep in step with the new needs of its clientele and to face head on the relapses due to the world economic crisis, though their "core business" remains that of artisan working of stone, marbles, and granite, but the new challenges require a leap in quality for a total service that is ever more complete and finished, just like the worked stone on Via Nouva.
So, in addition to stone, Cuorta Bau, has inserted in its repertoire of materials that it proposes to clients, also epoxy resins, supplied by the company Teknai of Milano, both as a spatulated type, which gives a rustic effect, and as a self-leveling type, able to give a finish that is almost mirror-like. "It is an interesting alternative and more modern with respect to the traditional use of stone – explains Stefano Del Curto – turning to resins is a new trend which is affirming itself on the market and is ever more requested by architects for projects for its style and modern design. Thus we are putting ourselves in position to develop, with a specific training, the techniques to work resins that can be proposed in the range of materials that the clients can choose for their special needs".
In addition, since the first of July, Max is born, a cleaning company for exteriors and interiors, which offers a complete service for the clientele of Upper Engadine, ranging from house cleaning to the assistance and custodian service of real estate, all the way to small maintenance jobs. "It is an extra service which we offer after having finished the work we do for our clients – explains Nicola Del Curto, the son of Stefano, who personally follows the development of Max – a company that could be useful especially for vacation homes".
THE ONLY ARTISAN WORKSHOP OF ITS KIND IN UPPER ENGADINE
How can you protect a company against the current economic crisis? By being able to transform a block or slab of stone, still rough and shapeless, into a real work of art. That is exactly what happens at La Cuorta Bau di Celerina started in 2001, based on the genius and skill of its owner, Stefano Del Curto. "We are the only workshop of this kind in all of Upper Engadine that makes anything from solid stone basins, hand finished, to tables, combining stone with other materials", explains Mr Del Curto. "These are difficult jobs that take a Lot of skill – each piece is unique and hand finished".
"Also, this year we have begun using self-levelling or trowelled epoxy resin: we produce floors and cladding in every possible colour and decorative style to fulfil the client's every dream. Our activity ranges from the commercial sector to private buildings and hotel complexes. We are also in demand on both the domestic and international markets – in Italy and Ticino we have completed important projects in terms of commercial spaces to be used by designers that are famous worldwide". This success is also due to a team of expert artisans, including five specialist operators that see to operations related to cutting and machining the material, along with seven layers, who put what has been produced in place.
"We work with local Swiss or Italian materials, as well as granites, marbles, and beola that we import from all over the world, and we have a vast range of samples that are able to satisfy all interior design needs", he continues. "And that's not all: we also provide our client with direct consultation. On the basis of our experience we are able to point out which materials and machining processes are best suited to the various situations". Future goals? "To contain the Company's consolidation phase, maintaining the high quality standards attained, without being tempted by quantity".
IL SOLISTA DELLA PIETRA
In alta Engadina l’eleganza della pietra ha un solo interprete. La Cuorta Bau di Celerina nasce nel 2001 dall’esperienza e dall’ingegno di Stefano Del Curto a capo del team di esperti artigiani, che realizza opere in tutta la regione. Nel 2005 si trasferisce nel laboratorio per marmi e graniti a Celerina.
Siamo l’unico laboratorio di questo genere presente in tutta la zona". Un lavoro complesso quello di trasformare blocchi o lastre di pietra in vere e proprie opere d’arte. L’azienda conserva anche le dimensioni del laboratorio artigianale: cinque operai specializzati eseguono le operazioni di taglio e lavorazione del materiale, sette posatori mettono in opera il lavoro. "Chiavi in mano – spiega Del Curto. Noi lavoriamo materiali locali, svizzeri o italiani, così come materiali importati da tutto il mondo". Graniti, marmi, beole. "Abbiamo un campionario molto vasto capace di accontentare ogni esigenza d’arredo – sottolinea il titolare. Forniamo anche una consulenza diretta al committente: sulla base della nostra esperienza possiamo indicare i materiali o le lavorazioni più adeguate alle diverse situazioni". Perché la pietra ha usi molteplici e muta d’aspetto in base al modo in cui viene manipolata. Che si tratti di rivestimenti interni o esterni: "Pavimentazioni o rifiniture – aggiunge Del Curto – o di arredamento". Arredamento che alla Cuorta Bau diventa design.
"Lavoriamo con architetti celebri, come lo studio dell’arch. Pensa di St. Moritz – dice il titolare. Con l’arch. Barbara Mercante, invece, abbiamo realizzato l’hotel Meierhof di Davos. Un lavoro impegnativo che ha dato risultati estetici e funzionali eccellenti. Altre collaborazioni proficue sono quelle con gli architetti Roberto Baciocchi di Arezzo e Marco Fumagalli di Milano". Tornando all’arredo, Del Curto spiega che oggi la pietra viene utilizzata per realizzare ogni cosa: dai lavabi in massello, rifiniti manualmente, a tavoli. "Persino complementi d’arredo – afferma Del Curto – dove la pietra si alterna ad altri materiali". Sono lavori difficili che richiedono grande abilità: ogni pezzo è unico, rifinito a mano dagli artigiani della ditta di Celerina. In alcune abitazioni di St. Moritz i bagni accolgono lavelli scavati da un unico blocco. La pietra non solo viene tagliata e assemblata ma formata e modellata sino a divenire un oggetto di design. I graniti si trasformano in rivestimenti per le cucine, i marmi vanno a rendere extra lusso un comune bagno.
Dice Del Curto: "Possiamo intervenire sui rivestimenti per docce, elementi d’arredo per bagni o cucine, rivestimenti per ambienti particolari quali saune, bagni turchi o piscine". Le parole da sole non rendono pienamente l’idea dell’altissima qualità che regola l’opera nel laboratorio di via Nouva a Celerina. Per rendersi conto davvero di cosa significhi mutare in bello un blocco di sasso bisogna osservare i lavori in opera; uno sguardo alle fotografie di quanto realizzato dimostra la pienezza del risultato. Capacità che hanno fatto in modo di preservare la Cuorta Bau dalla crisi: l’azienda di Celerina lavora soprattutto nei settori commerciale, dell’edilizia privata e alberghiero.
A St. Mortiz la ditta ha realizzato tutte le opere di pavimentazione e rivestimento di esclusivi negozi di moda, come il Jetset o le boutique monomarca di celebri griffe internazionali. "Lavoriamo in tutta l’alta Engadina – spiega Del Curto – e non solo; siamo richiesti sia sul mercato nazionale tutto che su quello internazionale: in Italia e in Ticino abbiamo realizzato dei progetti importanti sempre nell’ambito di spazi commerciali riconducibili a stilisti di fama mondiale".
E il futuro? "A sei anni dalla nascita dell’azienda abbiamo raggiunto tutti i risultati che ci eravamo prefissati – conclude il titolare della Cuorta Bau. Ora siamo in fase di consolidamento. Ciò che ci interessa è mantenere gli alti standard qualitativi acquisiti; in questo senso non c’è alcuna volontà di cedere qualcosa sul fronte qualità per farsi tentare dalla quantità".