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Fuksas – How to use marble in a modern architecture that wants to be elegant.

Eccentric, eclectic, innovative, Massimiliano Fuksas is one of the modern architects whose architectural works are first created on canvas like a painting and then developed in technical drawing.

For this reason his works are very innovative and modern because of his training in the 1960’s next to De Chirico with whom he collaborated at the studio in Piazza Di Spagna in Rome.

Born in Rome in 1944 to a Lithuanian father and an Italian – French mother, he grew up and studied in the Italian capital, confronting and interfacing with the uprisings of 1968.

After secondary – school studies, he worked side by side for a couple of years in the studio of the artist De Chirico in Piazza Di Spagna; from this moment on he decided to undertake studies in art and architecture at « La Sapienza » University in Rome.

Thanks to this closeness to the artist painter, Fuksas became first an artist and then an architect. Just as he said in an interview, he does not like the static nature of architecture which he interprets as art and for this reason he gives it movement and lightness.


As already mentioned, his architectural works were first created on canvas like paintings and then developed in his associated architectural studios with his wife « Massimiliano e Doriana Fuksas Design » situated in Rome, Paris and Shenzhen.

But they do not only deal with large structures and buildings, but also with interior design, lighting, and so on or sometimes creating real works of art such as the Asia installation.

As Fuksas confessed, often his works are not the result of mandates but participation in  competitions with the presentation of projects that then win and so are realized.

Fuksas and his studio are not big consumers of marble, but we find it in works where it combines with concrete and glass and which need natural stone in its nuances and re – workings, to give a touch of classic and elegance.

Among his works, structures and sculptures in which there is marble, we find:

  • The installation « Asia » at the exhibition « Bathing in lightmper » using Turkish marble
  • The internal staircase of Armani atelier in New York
  • The building of Benetton Military Union in Rome, which now belongs to the H&M group

The church of San Paolo in Foligno with Carrara marble


In 2013 the Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association organised an exhibition “Bathing in lightmper” in order to highlight, enhance and make Turkish marble famous.

Many artists were called to exhibit their works made with this precious mineral to highlight it; among them, there was the studio « Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas Design ».

For their work, they used « Asia », the white marble to create geometric shapes rich in fractures, cuts and light; it is placed on a black marble surface which is also used on the walls along which the sculpture seems to climb.


Opened in 2009, the building that houses Armani atelier in New York is situated in the very central 56th Street, one of New York most popular shopping areas.

Externally it looks like one of the first International Style buildings in New York and for this reason the interior has been reworked by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas studio, in a modern key to be a continuation of the external vision of the building.

For this reason, the internal staircase that occupies the entire central part is a ribbon in steel and quartz agglomerate extra white marble while the floors are in rigorous black marble.

These are the two colours that characterise Armani’s haute couture collections.


The marble used acquired more colour during the restoration of the Palace of the Military Union in Rome.

Initially the old palace belonged to the Benetton family who entrusted its internal restoration to the Fuksas studio to make it a place of gastronomy and culture. At the end of work, it was sold to the H&M group while preserving the modern innovations made by the Fuksas.

The white marble floors are decorated with bubbles of different colours, purple, yellow, red, orange. These are the bright and vibrant colours that characterise the lines of Benetton’s fashion collections.


Often in world architecture, when architects dedicate themselves to the construction or modernisation of sacred works, religious structures, marble is the master, recalling the classic ecclesiastical style.

Fuksas, called to rebuild the old church of San Paolo in Foligno demolished by the 1997 earthquake, mainly uses concrete for the big structure and glass to give the idea of elevation.


Marble, however, is used in the stele with the cross dominating the churchyard; it was made in Carrara marble by the artist Enzo Cucchi.

When modern architecture wants to bring a touch of elegance, it has to use marble for its reference to the classic but with light effects that characterise the modern style.

This is testified by Fuksas in his black, white or coloured marble but still bright floors, in his ribbon staircase but in marble that recalls the great staircases of nineteenth – century villas or in his artistic works.

The marble, that always in its eternity, joins the past to the future.

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