On June 8th 2018, Prada Group presented its industrial headquarters in Valvigna, Tuscany, on the occasion of the ‘Prada Architecture by Guido Canali’ book publication, edited by Italo Lupi.
Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada Group, architect Guido Canali, and architect Italo Lupi talked with Fulvio Irace, Milan Politecnico full professor, on the quality of the workplaces, the garden factories and sustainability.
For Valvigna, Guido Canali develops and brings to completion several recurrent themes of his work, already partially explored in the two previous projects for Montevarchi and Montegranaro, which, together with the new headquarters, are now frequently defined as “garden factories”.
Architect Guido Canali explains: “The huge presence of green spaces, enhanced by stretches of water, also with the function of an energy reserve, is an integral part of the factory. Not exhibited as mere decoration, rather it is set as a condition for the wellbeing of the people who work there. An architecture that rejects gratuitous gestures and exhibitionism but rather is faithful to a critical rigour of rationalist origin, in its eliminating and allowing to refine. In this way, the fascinating secret gardens, the shady trellises of vitis vinifera, the gleaming ponds do not represent architects’ formal self- indulgence, but rather the respect for the dignity and health - also psychic - of those who, within those walls and those gardens, must work there. And therefore inevitably also toil”.
To recover a degraded territory and to mitigate the landscape impact of the planned construction, these are the verbs that tell of the endeavour undertaken by the Prada Group and by architect Guido Canali during their long-lasting collaboration.
“With Guido Canali, we developed a ‘common vision’ of how to interpret the factory and its work environment, basing it on three fundamental principles: respect for the workers and their labour, a fully synergistic interpretation of the concept of ‘quality without compromises’; and recognition of the importance of details as an expression of efficiency as well as a work culture – not aesthetics as an end in itself”, affirms Patrizio Bertelli, Prada Group CEO and he adds: “Prada and Guido Canali were precursors of such ethics, cultivating them together over twenty years of collaboration. Both spontaneously introduced these principles at a moment in history in which awareness of these values had not yet been acknowledged as a moral duty. The industrial headquarters in Valvigna, Tuscany, represent an embodiment of these principles. The building is respectful of the place where it belongs; it generates responsible, sustainable efficiency; and attains balance between its architecture and the natural surroundings”.
The industrial headquarters in Valvigna hosts the production division and the development of the Prada and Miu Miu leather goods collections, the warehouses for raw materials, the historical archives of the leather goods and footwear collections, the offices for general services and industrial administration, an auditorium, systems areas and the Prada Group data processing centre.
VALVIGNA BY NUMBERS: 4 BUILDINGS
The main building, two storeys with a prefabricated reinforced concrete bearing structure at ground level for the warehousing facilities, and a steel bearing structure on the first floor for the production labs, divided according to brand and product family (Prada Donna, Prada Uomo, small leather goods and Miu Miu);
The physical plant, which hosts the electrical, heating and water plants, with terracing above for long-stalk vegetation;
Office building, three storeys with metal cladding, situated behind the main building. Located on the ground floor of the building are the General Secretariat, an Auditorium and Multimedia and Telepresence Rooms;
The canteen, a vast bright area characterized by a glass roof surmounted by a pergola, is attached to the office building.
Mq reinforced grass parking
Ground cover and grassy plants
Mq green carpeting