South of ferrara, italy, sitting amongst the fertile and meticulously manicured plains near the po river, is the ‘berluti factory’ for luxury shoemaking.
Completed by barthélémy – griño architects, the 7,890m2 manufacturing house brings together workshop areas, business logistics, and office space.
the concept for the building was largely to make the industrial nature of the site disappear. a vibrant, kinetic façade was created to diminish the mass of the form, and is aided by the absence of typical elements like control booths, smokestacks, or external machinery. it was the goal of the design team to represent the intelligence of the hands and minds of ‘berluti’s’ crafts(wo)men, and is quite clear in the level of detail considered in the construction.
wood is the dominant material of the building, which will patina over time as the structure ages. in the factory’s large commons area — which provides access to all areas — a grandiose grid of interlocking beams projects woven shadows into the room, and looks like a gigantic pair of laces. the interior is clad in beech rather than cedar, serving as a subtle nod to the wooden forms used for cobbling.