New at Direktorenhaus: Urban Tarrazzo

Urban Terrazzo, ein Projekt von They Feed Off Buildings

From September 2019, a new material library will open at Direktorenhaus. The materials archive includes bio-based materials as well as recycled materials, lightweight construction materials, biodegradable materials and multifunctional materials. A colour archive will be added.

New materials are regularly presented in evening presentations. The first one is Urban Tarrazo, a project of the two Berlin women Rasa Weber (29) and Luisa Rubisch (28). The two are the core team of the design and architecture collective “They feed off Buildings”. They have developed “Urban Terrazzo” from rubble. This is a material for surfaces such as flooring or worktops, cast from concrete with small and large pieces of demolition therein.


The two designers got to know each other in the master’s degree in product design at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Luisa Rubisch had previously studied urban planning at the Technical University of Berlin. Rasa Weber completed her bachelor’s degree in product design at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee and the Design Academy Eindhoven. The Urban Terrazzo project was their joint master’s thesis.

Antique flooring reinterpreted

Terrazzo has been used as flooring since ancient times. It was originally laid by local craftsmen: small, often coloured stones or other materials were applied to a screed.


TFOB, Berlin Brick Gold

After drying, it was sanded and polished to create a smooth, shiny surface. Because terrazzo can be made from cheap and readily available quarry materials, the flooring experienced a renaissance in the post-war period.

Weber and Rubisch are also concerned with the sensible recycling of leftovers. The aspect of sustainability was a “key factor” for the two designers. But they also see traces of the old buildings in the rubble. A piece of history that ends up on the rubbish dump. Most of the material used by Weber and Rubisch comes from two recycling yards. One is in Berlin, the other near Verona.

TFOB, Industrial Black

Berlin, for example, contains a lot of Lusatian granite, including post-war concrete, in which bricks were used as an aggregate, a very colorful concrete. In Italy, on the other hand, Urban Tarrazzo finds marble, old terrazzo or terracotta in building rubble.

For the production of Urban Terrazzo products, Luisa Rubisch and Rasa Weber had an extremely strong concrete developed, particularly fine and hard at the same time, with which the fragments are cast into slabs and enables them to “also integrate piecework”. The quality of the visually unusual and sustainable Tarrazzo product has spread. Weber and Rubisch were awarded the start-up scholarship “Creative Prototyping” by the UdK, won the German Ecodesign Award, among others, and were honoured as newcomer finalists at the German Design Award 2019 of the German Design Council.