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Concrete worktops – The ultimate in design & fabrication

Fluid Stone Studio specialises in the production of handcrafted worktops, sinks, basins, shower trays, fireplaces, panels, tiles, countertops and outdoor furniture.

We’ve been hard at work over the past few weeks preparing for the grand opening of the famous Seven Dials Market in London. We were commissioned to install multiple terrazzo worktops in order to create a consistent aesthetic for countertops and work surfaces throughout the market. As a result, we made all manner of different shapes and sizes – that’s what we love after all.

What is Terrazzo?

It sounds Italian, right? It’s named after a town in Italy, but can actually be traced back to ancient Egypt where it was used for mosaics, the Terrazzo we know and love today comes from 18th-century Venetian pavement. Terrazzo is a composite material, consisting of chips of the likes of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other materials, it is then polished smooth to create a sleek and smooth surface. One of the most famous terrazzo installations appears at the iconic Hollywood walk of fame. Our countertops were also made from pink coloured concrete with additions of crushed glass along with mother of pearl shell in order to give a luminescent, light and colourful ambience which provides Seven Dials with an art deco influenced aesthetic.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Photo by InSapphoWeTrust .

Who was the Client?

We worked on this project with Phelan Construction a construction, refurbishment and fit-out company based in Essex but working throughout the United Kingdom.
Stiff and Trevillion are an architecture firm that took up the task of redesigning the old Thomas Neal warehouse and transforming it into the good-grub centre of London.
The result is Seven Dials market, which is a large hip-and-happening food court in London, in the iconic location of Covent Garden. We provided identically styled surfaces for cocktail bars, Asian style restaurants, cheese bars, seafood restaurants, sandwich bars, Mexican food, a deli and coffee shop, so the material used had to be resilient to a variety of different uses.
Interestingly enough, we constructed the foundation for the world’s first cheese conveyor belt restaurant for ‘Pick & Cheese’  by ‘The Cheese Bar London’. This allows people to pick the cheese they want to try just like a Japanese sushi bar.

Challenges of Terrazzo Concrete Worktops

With only 12 weeks to complete this large and complex project, the pressure was certainly on. The biggest challenge ahead was the curved nature of the concrete. For regular cast concrete this would be no problem at all, but having curved terrazzo concrete meant each piece would have to be cast and polished down by hand. Each curve had to be regularly measured for consistency. To ensure the tolerance differential was met we designed and built steel jigs to use alongside our adapted grinding machines. 3 jigs were used in total, one for the upstands, concrete worktops and the lower panels. Thanks to our careful planning and measurements the jigs worked perfectly and all pieces fit together beautifully onsite.

The Result

All clients were really happy with the work that we carried out, and there are already plenty of snaps of people enjoying the food atop our lovely Fluid Stone Studio terrazzo counters.
We are looking forward to some more projects like these.