Jan de Wet and Jeanne Scholtz from Studio AN and Italo Cannata and Claudia Cannata King with Aimée Wolfaardt from Haardt Design Studio.
Jan de Wet and Jeanne Scholtz from Studio AN and Italo Cannata and Claudia Cannata King with Aimée Wolfaardt from Haardt Design Studio.
Image: Supplied

For four generations, the Cannata family has supplied, manufactured and installed the best quality natural, engineered stone and porcelain products. Now, great-grandchildren Claudia Cannata King and Italo Cannata jnr, together with Studio Haardt’s Aimee Wolfaardt, are bringing the brand into the 21st century with a fresh offering of stone as you’ve never seen it before set against the backdrop of a gorgeous new Cape Town showroom called The Dialogue Room.

“The Dialogue Room is, in a way, a door to the Cannata factory and all that is has to offer,” the team says. 

Opened mid-September, this beautiful and inspiring un-showroom is a sensory space for creatives and designers to cross-pollinate and is the base for the brand’s new collections in stone. “Our aim is to change people’s perceptions of the capabilities of stone as a material,” they explain of their quarterly collaborations, which have begun with the release of Studio AN’s MORPH collection- a selection of innovative marble and terrazzo pieces inspired by jelly sweets.

As the fourth generation in the Cannata line, what fresh approach are you introducing? Our approach is more robust, focusing on innovation through raw materials, while working closer with our interior designer and architect clients to create unique custom installations. We thrive on treating stone surfaces in a fresh and unexpected way while adding value through our advanced technical installation processes. We’re also focusing on sourcing new and exciting products from top international companies.

Morph Light by Studio AN and Cannata
Morph Light by Studio AN and Cannata
Image: Supplied

How was the idea for The Dialogue Room born? It’s been an exciting journey, born from a perfect balance of creativity, passion, innovation and dedication. The Dialogue Room is an extension of Cannata’s Dialogue Book, a tactile brochure project created in collaboration with Studio Haardt in 2018. In today’s highly competitive and economically strained climate, Cannata needed a more precise, focused and visual sales tool. This coincided with Studio Haardt wanting to experiment with the technical possibilities of stone manufacturing and surface treatments.

How does The Dialogue Room differentiate itself? It’s not only a place to showcase product, but an active space, essentially a workshop. We not only invite our clients and collaborators to view and select materials but also research, develop and create with us. 

Tell us a little about the thoughtfully planned aesthetic of the Dialogue Room. The aim from the start with both The Dialogue Book and The Dialogue Room was to create a point of focus. We worked towards creating one clear visual story that allows the selected products to come into view and be appreciated.

Morph Collection by Studio AN and Cannata.
Morph Collection by Studio AN and Cannata.
Image: Supplied

We chose to create a cleaner space with the display areas and furniture tending towards pure forms and monolithic shapes. The permanent furniture in The Dialogue Room was designed specifically for the space and is clad in different stone finishes, showing off a selection of materials in application.

As an extension of our sales office, we also have The Cannata company history wall, a stone-sample wall, furniture collaborations – with our inaugural collection by Studio AN – and branded furniture items from Italian suppliers like Salvatori.

What are some of the items we can expect from the local collaborations? Unexpected design in stone! Smaller furniture and decorative items with interesting material combinations, shapes and textures. We’re hoping to introduce a mix of materials including combinations with brass, glass, wood and ceramics. 

What attracted you to working with Studio AN on your first collab? Cannata has worked on some significant architectural projects with Jan from Studio AN before. He always pushes the boundaries and drives us to make his fresh approach to stone design a reality. Once we presented The Dialogue Book to him and Jeanne, they were drawn in and we never looked back.

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