Submitted by Francesca Cuoghi

Crogiolo, a place with a glorious past and a brand new cultural present

Italy Architecture News - Apr 05, 2018 - 23:27   16112 views

Crogiolo, a place with a glorious past and a brand new cultural present

The Crogiolo is a place where past, present and future meet. It provides an historic link with the first industrial site of the ceramic tile industry Marazzi, dating back to the 1930s, where the first tiles were manufactured. The company was founded in 1935 at Sassuolo, in what was to become the top international hub for the creation of state-of-the-art, high-end ceramic tiles, which has grown together with the company over the decades.

Crogiolo, a place with a glorious past and a brand new cultural present

In the 1980s the Crogiolo became a brand in its own right and functioned as Marazzi's "experimental" division, hosting architects, artists and potters invited to use the location to experiment with ceramics. A real research centre, a "crucible" (the actual translation of the name "crogiolo") of new ideas. A place that can feature creativity, technology and breakthrough innovation.

Crogiolo, a place with a glorious past and a brand new cultural present

The Crogiolo measures more than 850 square meters on two floors, and it has undergone meticulous restoration by Gianluca Rossi of Uainot Architetti, which, with due deference to the historic legacy of the company and the entire district, breathes new life into this impressive location. 

Crogiolo, a place with a glorious past and a brand new cultural present

As Rossi explains, "the aim of the project was to emphasise the building's industrial mood and bring it back to life, while making it an integral part of the new Marazzi Sassuolo headquarters: the elegant roof trusses, the concrete floor, the lovely brick exteriors, the layout of the doors and windows – nothing has been changed; we have simply removed the signs of time. The challenge was to modernise the building by equipping it with up-to-date utility systems, which we did by creating a kind of ultra-high-tech ‘box’ inside and yet separate from the original structure, with a life of its own."

Crogiolo, a place with a glorious past and a brand new cultural present

Today the Crogiolo, which is able to accommodate about 400 people, is used for corporate events and for public events dedicated to citizenship. It envisages a ground-breaking and enlightening exploration of industrial architecture between a glorious past and a new cultural identity. 

Crogiolo, a place with a glorious past and a brand new cultural present

All images © Saverio Lombardi Vallauri

> via Marazzi