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Artistry Concrete: Experiencing Space


Macrostone is excited to share with you a brand new experience which is redefining that way we view architectural cladding.

Welcome to TONK Project.

TONK Project is a lightweight cladding product freshly launched to the Australian market which uses the repetition of geometry and pattern to create a unique style. Each design has a modular structure that can be personalised with additional pieces, allowing the individual the opportunity to design their own experience.

The entire range has been designed for use in both interior and exterior environments and the 3D nature of each tile lends visual stimulation to the wall/ceiling/furniture installation through the use of light and shadow. All the designs in the collection have been thoughtfully hand crafted from glass fibre reinforced concrete through the moulding and casting production method.

The result?

Each object embodies perfect architectural harmony and gives a sense of craftsmanship and practicality, which in turn, helps us to identify modular surfaces as an expression of artistry. Each minimalist model consists of a 3-dimensional geometric shape which form variations in sequence to create a stimulating encounter. Selected collections within the range will allow for the insertion of timber inlays, stone pieces or even strip lighting, which encourages spatial engagement through the marriage of different materials.

Customise. Individualise. Personalise.

As TONK Project is essentially concrete, it can be painted any colour you envisage! We currently offer 10 colours in the TONK Project colour palette and adding to this constantly. For very special projects, Macrostone can colour match from the Pantone catalogue to produce a totally customisable composition.


Experiencing space through the artistry of concrete formations


Gama has the ability to change its design based on the insertion of metal, timber, stone or even strip lighting inlays.


TONK Nut pattern is conceptually the old nut shape & bolt tops. This retro design has a subtle style that works well as an external wall cladding coupled with greenery, which helps to breathe life into the surface.


Klok a great option for bringing out creativity. Basic diamond shapes make up the entire pattern, however if you were to use inlays, anything design intent is possible. Create ships, patterns within patterns, or even a work of art.


Dizzy is the only TONK product that links into itself creating a hook with its partner. At a closer glance, Dizzy has one side thicker than the other, creating another dimensional depth.


Pix is simply a box within a box that provides the illusion of the surface being deeper than it actually is. This style works well with illumination as each side can reflect light differently.


Similar to Nut, Lots is a subtle pattern that relies on colour rather than inserts to create an interesting, 3D wall effect. One of the most lightweight TONK products, Lots has a simplistic pattern that can work well as a feature wall.


Vink arrow design allows for various patterns which create a wave of light and shadow. The tiles can be aligned anyway and the repetition of this shade will always be the same.


Tilt is, like Gama, one of the most loved patterns from TONK. It is ordered in its design, with a thick and wide top and a smaller and thinner bottom. This tile is elegant and lightweight.

The entire TONK Project range is suitable for residential, commercial, corporate, health, government, retail and educational spaces as wall/ceiling cladding or even as an additional feature to furniture. TONK can be found at: TONK PROJECT

To request samples or more information on all the collections within the range, please contact us at Macrostone International.

T: (07) 5562 0076


Giovanni Barbieri Designer Cladding

Giovanni Barbieri is one of the most remarkable Artisans and Designers of Natural Stone Tiles. Barbieri doesn’t limit himself just to stone, he also works in handmade ceramic tiles and porcelain. Consistently reinventing his products to create the most delicate and beautiful designs.

Giovanni began at age 14, working in his brothers business of construction. He rose in rank and at the age of 16, was able to manage entire floors and buildings by himself. This propelled him, at age 18, to become a business partner for his brother, establishing F.lli Barbieri in 1984. This is when the company began producing tumbled marble which allowed Giovanni to begin his design infatuation.

At 22, Giovanni began studying two 3 year courses in interior design and after their successful completion in 1997 he found his greatest success was when he collaborated with Architects on building sites and projects. These collaborations created a strong desire to become a sole developer, in charge of his own projects, supplying his own products and supervising their installation. These desires became reality through his business and not soon after did he begin to focus on stone production.

In 1997 he became, and still is, the only manufacturer in the world of the renown Barbieri finish. This antiqued wavy textured finish perfectly represents the timeworn effect on natural stone and meant production of new products was expanding right across to America were historical stone floor renovation became a huge profit maker. Many patents, both decorative and industrial were wanting that Antique finish.

This is when the finish called “Marmo Antico Lucido”, the “Framenti Borders Collection, Timeworn Marble” and the “Serie Storica” became extremely popular. Trade show booth explicitly changing from modern designs straight to exclusive decorative panels. With Giovanni showing alongside famous designers like Roberto Lanaro in art and design competitions. Receiving a special mention in 2003 at the Torino Exhibition.

In 2008, Giovanni discovered, invented, design and established the production of Carved stone, for unbeatable quality, qualities and prices. His new collection was highly received. Not only in the Italian market but even in the American market with the ‘Ambra Collection’ receiving one of the awards for American Architecture ‘Architectural Record’. It even was shown in the ‘Triennale Design Museum’ in Milan for over a year.

Giovanni in 2010 successfully collaborated with Sara Baldwin (New Ravenna) developing Timeworn Mosaics. With 2013 seeing his engineered three-dimensional marble tiles creation awarding him ‘Memento Collection Best of the Year Interior Design Award’. This was also the year when he began experimenting with Murano Glass polished relief inlay which allowed for backlighting the glass and/or stone piece for greater design possibilities. Giovanni still believes to this day that this will be a future trend that will be seen throughout many homes. Believe it or not, you are seeing this as a popular trent happening today.

2014 was started by Giovanni winning the ‘Surface Design Award 2014’ in the Housing category in London. This propelling him into his new adventures and designs of today.

This is where we come in, today. Macrostone has had the great fortune to be able to work with Giovanni Barbieri to provide his award winning designs to the Australian market. This means you can now have designer cladding customisable to your home by one of the leading interior stone cladding inventors of Italy. Italy is the birthplace of stone, so its a guarantee that this amazing cladding deserves its global success.

Italy, the Heart of Stone

Italy is known for its grand designs, old buildings, beautiful art and luxurious stone. Some of the most known designers, artists and inventors originated from this great land, leaving behind a legacy that still holds strong.

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”
– Michelangelo

Stone has been considered a natural masterpiece. Each stone block, slab, tile, paver, rock has its own unique design and colour arrangement. You will never find two stone pieces exactly the same. Even when using the technique of book-matching, the stone piece will look similar but never the same. However it is possible to find exactly what you need from the lavish amounts of stone available on the market. From black limestones to yellow and blue marbles to rainbow sandstone, the choices are endless.

Stone has been considered a natural masterpiece. Each stone block, slab, tile, paver, rock has its own unique design and colour arrangement. You will never find two stone pieces exactly the same. Even when using the technique of book-matching, the stone piece will look similar but never the same. However it is possible to find exactly what you need from the lavish amounts of stone available on the market. From black limestones to yellow and blue marbles to rainbow sandstone, the choices are endless.

But Italia, Italy, holds the crown for being the best known country to use and supply marble. Its crown jewel being Carrara, a soft blue-white marble used throughout the ages as the best product for sculptures. Michelangelo’s “Florentine Pieta” and “David”, Antoni Madesyski’s “Jadwiga’s Sarcophagus and Horatio Greenough’s statue of “George Washington” are just a few well know sculptures made possible through Carrara Marble.

This does not suggest that Carrara is only used for sculpting art. No, you can purchased this famed marble for your home to use at your leisure. Create a bench-top, use it as your feature flooring or sculpt away. Carrara has a history that is longing to be shared around the world. At Macrostone, we have the luxury to stock this famous marble and supply it from the original quarry right around Australia and New Zealand.

“The more the marble wastes the more the statue grows”
– Michelangelo

Carrara maybe the jewel marble in Italy but it is not the only marble with fame and popularity. Statuario white with grey vein marble and Nero black marbles are quite popular especially here in Australia and over in the UK. These are just another two examples with Italian marbles not stopping there. They have a huge range of marble types and especially colours; whites, greys, reds, greens, beiges, yellows, pinks, browns and blacks. With vein varieties matching or mixing from marble to marble.

There are FOUR major quarries in Italy with two located at the boots heel, one in the middle and one at Italia’s top. Each quarry producing its own unique marbles ready for the global market.

At Macrostone we are proud to be partners with various quarries around the world including quarries of beautiful marbles in Italy. Let us spread these famous stones around Australia for the nation to enjoy.

“Art owes its origin to nature herself, this beautiful creation, the world, supplied the first model, while the original teach was that divine intelligence which has not only made us superior to the other animals, but like god himself, if I may venture to say it”
– Giorgio Vasari



Cool Stone for Outdoor Hot Areas

Stone is a fantastic product to use in any area of your home. All stone tends to be cool underfoot perfect for hot climates. But what stone keeps the coolest? Macrostone is based in Queensland Australia and it becomes pretty hot outside over the summer, so keeping cool is very important.

So what is the best stone products to use in an outdoor hot climate? Let me enlighten you.

Cool Stone

For Outdoor Hot Areas


Limestone is a strong sedimentary rock that can be purchased in a variety of colours and variations. One of its biggest qualities is its strength no matter its cut, colour or style.

Limestone is also very cool underneath your feet. No matter how hot it reaches, if you have Limestone outside in a light colour it will be a lot cooler. As many people know the lighter the colour the more light is reflect and the less heat is absorbed. Hence why black sand is hotter than white sand. The same thing happens with stone. Limestone has a colour range from white to cream to brown to black. So when in an external area or in an area of direct sun a lighter Limestone is preferable. A great asset for around the pool or for an outdoor area.


Like Limestone, Travertine is a sedimentary rock unique in its creation. Travertine is formed by hot spring deposits. It is strong like Limestone however it has more patterns and variations in the stone.

Travertine comes in whites, silver/greys, creams and browns. With its slightly lighter colour palette it is easier to lay darker Travertine in external areas. Preferably, like Limestone, the lighter colour is better for outdoor areas underfoot. But with Travertines its silver and brown colours, being lighter, could sustain its cool qualities longer depending on your external area.


Granite is a volcanic stone with a colour spectrum of white through to grey then through to black. Granite can be purchased in tiles, pavers and cobblestones so its outdoor appearance is based on the stones design and cut.

Granite despite its colour is quite cool, hence why a lot of Australian families like using Granite for their driveway or entry. However a cool stone that is black does have a time limit with its heat control. All stone can warm up and if its directly in the sun on a hot day maybe a lighter coloured Granite could be better.


Sandstone is a soft, light and cool stone designed for the outdoors. Sandstone comes in a array of colours and colour mixes with most of the colours being lighter on the spectrum.

Does this mean Sandstone is the best option? Maybe. Sandstone is soft and needs constant sealing and maintenance however with its colourful properties and its design appeal sometimes choosing Sandstone can be a tough choice. But it is one of the coolest stones for external use because of its colour and style.


Most individuals believe Marble is the most luxurious stone. If used effectively it can create a cooling effect inside a home as well as a beautiful feature. However how does it work externally?

Marble ranges in price depending on what Marble you pick. Marble also needs constant maintenance and care which is why a lot of people place Marble inside than outside. If you were to use Marble in an exterior design it would remain cool underfoot but colour choice is highly important. Marble, around a pool, will need to be slip checked and finished to have grip.


Quartzite is a metamorphic rock with similar colours and designs as Marble. However Quartzite can work quite well externally in comparison to Marble.

Depending on the stone choice Quartzite can have excellent grip for around wet areas as well as having a great colour choice. The list of colours and designs are too long to name so finding something you want is not as difficult as you think. It could be just the thing for you. But like Marble choosing a lighter colour is preferable for an external area.


Bluestone, like Granite, is a volcanic rock with many applications and finishes. Bluestone, as the name suggests, is a blue stone. Ranging from dark blue to a light silver blue.

Bluestone is a cool stone, its properties reminiscent of Granite. It heat control is dictated by how much direct sun it receives and where it is placed in an external area. Lighter blues will have more heat control but will slower become hotter depending on the day and area.

But in the end it is all up to you. You the designer, the planner, the home owner. An Industrial designed home would suit a darker outdoor stone than a lighter one, while an Hamptons style home will suit a lighter coloured stone externally. It is your home, your rules and sometimes natural stone can surprise even the experts.


Why is Stone the best for Cladding?

Cladding is a great design material for many homes as of its ability to link the outdoors with the indoors. A continuous theme that can work externally as well as internally. But why do we suggest stone as the best option to use? Yes we are a stone company but we believe passionately about our products hence why we will prove that stone is the best option for cladding.

Lets start with all your options laid out in front of you.

Your house needs something extra to link the external to the internal, to provide a consistency that extends into the garden. You have thought about a cladding solution to cover a few walls inside and outside but deciding on what to use has been difficult. You are presented with all the major players in the cladding game: Brick, Timber, Metals, Concrete and Stone. Let me help you decide.

I would look into Brick first. Potentially the traditionalist choice with characteristics including long lasting, minimal maintenance and a good feature wall if already living in a brick home. But Brick can be expensive with some areas not providing choice in colour or Brick material, usually leading to purchasing paints and other finishing products to hide a basic and sometimes boring cladding choice. It is a traditionally used cladding and if your house suits it then maybe it is something worth your interest.

Come on, I need to drag you away. Timber is next, it is the most versatile material on this list, providing the greatest options in design if used effectively. You can have straight boards, chunky wooden pieces, colourful tiled looking timber, overlapping or even specially cut timber cladding. But without care and maintenance wood will fall into disrepair. Painted or stained wood will need a re-coat every year but this does allow for changes of colour in the house. Some woods will even weather once exposed to the elements so maybe this material being used externally (unless you want that extra maintenance) should be kept inside.

I can see you liking Timber due to its design but there are still three cladding choices to go. Metals are a relatively new cladding option used as cladding. Unless you count the traditional tin shed as Metal cladding. However Metal cladding can bend, mould and can be imprinted with designs so your conventional metal sheet isn’t as boring. It provides nice clean lines and due to its durability can change over time with rust and decay, if that is a feature you would like to create. But no matter how good metal looks after a good rust all Metal cladding will need to be changed every few years as they cannot endure the harsh reality of our environment.

You seem more interested in industrial designs then, well now don’t get too excited. Concrete can also fit into an industrial design layout. Smoothed out to any surfaces, concrete can create quite an impact in a home and works well as an extension product for internal and external continuous design. But it still, by many homeowners, is considered mundane. It is an excellent insulator and is highly versatile, with finishes that add an extra level of depth. But with its bland appearance it can create a cold backdrop to a warm family home so if using concrete cladding make sure you know your design in its entirety before deciding concrete is the best for you.

Now for the final cladding idea. Surely you know its Stone. Is is the luxe choice and it is not as expensive as you think with manufacturers developing new products almost daily. It is quick and easy to install with its qualities outshining its competitors in cladding. It is hard waring, long lasting, highly durable, a great feature internally and can survive long durations with almost no maintenance externally. Stone Cladding can also come in small to large cladding pieces with the larger pieces creating a more natural stone look. You are looking at me at if there must be something bad about stone cladding. Well the only real issue is weight. If you are in a new home with weight restrictions then maybe a big stone cladding feature is not the best option for you. But there are always ways around this with stone, there are so many cladding types that if you are still looking for that natural touch but not the weight then choosing a different stone cladding type maybe better for you. But there are no restrictions outdoors with some homes now are using cladding in a new way, with smaller and lighter cladding styles starting at the front and by the time you hit the garden you are greeted with massive cladding stones.

If this is anything to go by you would have to agree Stone cladding is the best option. It is just as versatile as other materials it just depends on what cladding style you want. It is the most durable with nearly all cladding stone types not needing maintenance. When talking about price, it is expensive but can be budgeted around the same amount as brick or concrete. Weight is an obstacle but cladding options with stone can provide easy solutions and fitting around a difficult wall edge or face is easy when the stone is laid properly and designed to fit.

Great! You are considering stone cladding for you home, how wonderful. Let me show you some options.

Click here to view all our cladding options.

Limestone and its Qualities

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is mostly created in areas of calm water. Created from compacting naturally organic lifeforms and minerals that, with the pressure of water, are so dense it forms one of the strongest stone varieties. Hence it has been used throughout the ages to create giant and magnificent structures that have stood the test of time.

Lets start from the beginning with some visible characteristics of Limestone. Limestone can come in a variety of colours. These include: warm reds, oranges, yellows, creams, corals, greys (light to dark), and white. Other than colours the stone itself can be more solid in appearance or a more fossilised stone. Once picking a limestone to suit your needs, if using it for a house/home, is deciding on the best finishes of the stone. These included honed, polished, brushed and filled, just to name a few.

When looking deeper into the stone you will find that it is built on a calcium base. This is due to being formed near water and by organic material. This does mean the stone has a weakness to acid but being so dense has allowed this stone to be quite resistant to most attacks. It is strong and highly durable in any environment. Look at the Pyramids of Egypt, they are still standing due to the strength of their limestone blocks.

This resistant and durability is why Limestone is so appealing to todays construction and home building market. It is strong, child proof, sustainable and soft underfoot if the appropriate finish is used.

Note: Child proof in regards to stone: it is hard to scratch, easy to clean if an accident or art lesson that goes horribly wrong, it is hard to crack if a heavy object is dropped onto the stone, it comes in tiles or pavers depending on how busy areas of the home become, and will survive a very very long time.

Now you love Limestone and you have heard all the qualities and properties and mention of some of the applications but let me enlighten you on everything Limestone can do. It works well as a flooring product. Anyone with Limestone flooring would tell you it is a great flooring product and easy to clean. But Limestone is not limited to just flooring. Stone Cladding is becoming more popular with interiors and exteriors, and with limestones strong qualities it is not surprising that limestone cladding is becoming increasingly popular. Even in fence and landscaping designs.

Limestone is strong, durable, “child proof”, easy to clean, easy to maintain, can be used as a flooring product or walling product, and is a highly sustainable product based on its strength. If wanting a feature stone for your home and marble is appealing, try limestone. It hasn’t let anyone down. Just up to you to pick the right colour.



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