In the same way as a purse holds your most personal items, a company’s headquarters accommodates its employees. Sitting gently in the landscape of the Chianti region, the headquarters of FURLA in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa was conceived by GEZA Architettura with a human-centric approach. Architects Stefano Gri and Piero Zucchi saw the job of designing the headquarters of the historic leather goods brand as an opportunity to rethink workplace quality in terms of a broad view of sustainability that goes beyond energy efficiency.
FURLA and GEZA: a composition for four hands
The book The Creative Hub, published by THE PLAN Editions, and the docufilm of the same name, by THE PLAN Mediahouse, are both devoted to FURLA’s headquarters in Tavarnelle, a project that grew out of a deep synergy and unity of purpose shared by the client and the architects.
“The new headquarters will be the heart of FURLA’s production and creative chain. Here our workers will have a chance to express their creativity and artisanship in a stimulating environment that combines a respect for tradition with a drive for technological innovation and artistic experimentation. This major investment for our company will allow us to strengthen our creativity in conceiving, developing, and manufacturing increasingly innovative and relevant products for different generations and geographical areas. It will simultaneously bolster our production capacity”.
From the interview with Giovanna Furlanetto, A Project of Excellence to Create the Space for Creativity, in the book The Creative Hub.
“Working with pure, essential forms, and entrusting the landscape with the job of creating an organic relationship with the context, and therefore with local history and traditions, was our starting point and, later, the point of reference for the entire project. Simple materials applied to equally simple volumes defined by their essential colors – the use of black and white lets the infinite shades of green bring color to the architecture, along with the presence of the people who work, live, walk, visit, and think there. Together, they create”.
From the chapter Architecture, Industry, Landscape from the book The Creative Hub by Stefano Gri and Piero Zucchi.
FURLA headquarters in Chianti
A true creative hub, the project comprises three buildings, bringing together offices, R&D, manufacturing, and warehousing in a single location. Distinguished by the use of only a few materials and colors – exposed concrete, ethereal white volumes, and material black volumes – the project follows the lie of the hilly terrain, dematerializing as its glass façades with sunshading louvers reach into the sky. Based on the typical entrance to a Tuscan villa, the main entrance has a row of cypresses that welcome visitors and guide them inside. Visible from all the work environments, a system of green patios and garden roofs cancels out the boundary between architecture and landscape.
“GEZA has reflected the topography of the site through a careful arrangement of the volumes, creating a rhythm so that they blend with each other as well as with the landscape. As can be seen in the best Italian architecture, GEZA appreciates that restraint and rhythm are inseparable, that the skill of the architect lies in making the two coincide. It’s a coincidence, however, that can’t be forced: the result needs to come together as a solid, assertive, and free-flowing whole. Architects know that once that key is found, the building will, thanks to the magic of excellent architecture, not only become part of its setting but will also enhance it”.
From the chapter Architecture Appropriate to Itself and its Surroundings, by Valerio Paolo Mosco
Location: Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Firenze
Architect: GEZA Architettura
Structures: Biagini – Bracciali Studio di Ingegneria
Construction Project Manager: Biagini – Bracciali Studio di Ingegneria
Landscape: LAND Italia
Systems Engineering: Consilium Servizi d’Ingegneria
Acoustics: Ing. Sacha Slim Bouhageb
Geologist: ProGeo Engineering
Photography by Fernando Guerra | FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura