Marble — whether buffed white or shot through with expressive veins — is synonymous with classical Rome, but the city’s iconic exteriors were made largely of travertine, a porous sedimentary rock that is a form of limestone. Its pale yellow tone, as seen in the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica, is created by hot spring water reacting with carbonate minerals. At once elegant and raw, the stone was often used as a decorative facing for structures made of brick or concrete — the material that allowed the Romans to perfect the arch. Now, the Paris-based architect and designer Joris Poggioli has reinterpreted those codes in this minimalist travertine table for RH. Ringed with arches that evoke columns and carved niches, it suggests not just the majesty of the Roman Empire but the verve of 1980s postmodernism — an ideal synthesis of the ancient past and the fearless future.
RH Volta Italian Travertine Table, rh.com. Photograph by Mari Maeda and Yuji Oboshi.