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Grand Slam

Tennis star Rafael Nadal and Cosentino in Mallorca, Spain.

WRITTEN BY NICOLE HADDAD PHOTOGRAPHED BY FERNANDO ALDA

In 2014, a family connection and a shared passion for excellence brought two Spanish legends together. The tennis world’s veritable darling, Rafael “Rafa” Nadal, was known as the “King of Clay” for his mastery on clay courts, while Cosentino mastered a different type of surface.

Rafael Nadal

As a global, family-owned company that strives to responsibly develop the most innovative, durable surfaces in the design and architecture world, Cosentino met its match. By the close of that year, Rafa had won four titles, including his 9th French Open. Not one to rest on his laurels, Nadal approached 2015 with an impressive plan to create the “Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar” project—sponsored by Cosentino.

The striking facade of the Academy is composed mainly of Dekton—a material that is highly resistant to UV rays—and glass. A custom blue color was created to highlight the stadium-like entrance.

Massimo Ballucchi, Marketing Director for Cosentino, expands on the origins of the partnership: “As a Spanish company, we were looking for a Spanish collaborator,” he explains. “Nadal is a world champion. As he developed into an exceptional tennis player, our company was growing at the same stage. As Nadal continued to win titles, we continued to expand and win awards for our products. We have traveled mirrored paths—internationally successful with a deep focus on values.” That alignment in ideals led to the completion of the Academy in 2016. Conceived as a benchmark training facility for young tennis players merging academics and world-class coaching, the Academy boasts state-of-the-art facilities consisting of 27 courts, a luxurious spa, hotel, and so much more. Located in Nadal’s hometown of Manacor in Mallorca, Spain, the architectural feat also serves as a hallmark for Cosentino’s prowess with surface materials — specifically Dekton and Silestone products.

The staircases showcase an advantage of using Dekton—in addition to the material’s durability, steps can be manufactured in one piece, eliminating the need for joints and creating a seamless, visual appeal.

Cosentino worked hand-in-hand with Catalan architect Enrique Iglesias, fitting approximately 430,556 square feet of Dekton surface materials in 12 colors, two custom colors, various sizes, and thickness into applications ranging from wall claddings to flooring, swimming pools, saunas, staircases and more. A unique, ultra-compact surface material created from recycled content, Dekton is non-porous, withstands high-traffic, and is available in incredibly large formats—an architect’s dream. Iglesias corroborates, “The best feature of Dekton is something which we architects love: its format. It allows you to play with large dimensions and with different forms of quartering. It is very easy to work with Dekton and the result is perfection.” The format also allows for a reduction in joints, resulting in a beautiful sense of continuation. As Ballucchi succinctly states, “Dekton serves as a protagonist in architecture.”

Suite flooring consists of Dekton in serene colorways Zenith and Ventus.

The versatility of the material itself allowed for Iglesias to mount the entire facade vertically, coating the area solely in a custom Dekton color—Nadal’s signature blue—and glass for one stunning aesthetic. A second, custom white tone called Alba covers a number of the walls in the main building—infusing the space with a clean, zen-like appeal perfect for sportsmen in training. Rooms were purposely outfitted in grays, walnuts, woods, and whites— soft colors that inspire relaxation and contemplation o the court. The only space that truly diverges from the quiet palette, is the spa. Outfitted entirely in Dekton’s Trilium color and with an anti-slip technology, the color—inspired by the industrialized look of oxidized steel—infuses the room with a warm yet luxurious feel. Bathrooms throughout the Academy showcase Cosentino’s Silestone products—evident in the over 130 quartz trays in the brand’s Blanco Zeus color and in the more than 100 bathroom countertops complemented by Elegance washbasins from the Cosentino Bath Collection. Silestone products also grace other worktops throughout the complex and in the main entrance, where nearly 2,300 sq. ft. of Negro Ochavo brush-hammered granite was applied.

Wood slats and well placed lighting highlight the beauty of the Trilium color; The bathroom’s clean, serene look was accomplished with large format Dekton slabs in the Keon colorway.

As Nadal won his 19th Grand Slam this September at the US Open, Cosentino celebrated a grand slam of their own as the first company in the world to obtain ISO 20400:2017 certification for sustainability. Game, set, match!