by Stephen Garner
Serge Brunschwig

Fendi has laid the foundation stone of its new factory in the heart of the Tuscan countryside in Bagno a Ripoli, close to Florence.

To mark the importance of this milestone for the Roman luxury house, Serge Brunschwig, chairman and CEO, planted a tree on the construction site: a Turkey oak, a symbol across different cultures of virtue, dignity, and courage. In particular, the Turkey oak tree plays a key role in the Fendi Factory project, celebrating the local biodiversity of the area.

Eugenio Giani, President of the Toscana region; Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence; and Francesco Casini, Mayor of Bagno a Ripoli were also in attendance at the foundation laying/tree planting ceremony.

Covering a land surface of eight hectares, Fendi Factory, which has been designed by Milan-based architecture firm Piuarch, will occupy a 13,000-square-meter area formerly housing the Fornace Brunelleschi kiln. Fendi kicked off the works in the area in August 2018 to clear and prepare the construction site. 

“Italy is synonymous with tradition, history, beauty, and above all excellence,” said Brunschwig. “We embrace the opportunity to invest in the Made in Italy and to sublimate the core values of craftsmanship, artisanal savoir-faire, and the power of handcrafting. Expertise and experimentation are all elements that support our marketing and company culture and at Fendi we believe that keeping and transmitting this level of tradition is fundamental for the coming generations. We are very proud of our roots, of this new chapter in Bagno a Ripoli, offering our teams a sustainable and caring working environment.”

Eugenio Giani, Dario Nardella, Francesco Casini, Serge Brunschwig

Blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, Fendi Factory will feature a series of buildings connected with squares and stairs that, located at different levels, will be harmoniously integrated into the natural conformation of the Tuscan hillside. With plenty of sunlight filtering through the large glass walls, the functional and efficient manufacturing plant will offer a healthy workplace, where artisans will be able to express their skills and creativity at their best. Designed to guarantee unparalleled efficiency, Fendi’s new plant, including a range of manufacturing areas, offices, and warehouses, will feature rational spaces enabling an easy circulation of people and goods.

In keeping with the Roman luxury house’s continuous commitment towards sustainability, Fendi Factory has complied so as to aim at the prestigious LEED Platinum certification. Both the perimeter and interior walls will be made of glass, enabling the sunlight to filter and offering employees serene views of the Tuscan countryside and of the impeccably designed courtyards presenting local varieties of plants and flowers. 

Enabling the new Fendi site to blend in with the environment, the external walls of the different buildings will match glass with a natural mix of soil and concrete in a signature earthy tone reflecting the color shades of the Tuscan hillside and celebrating the ancient tradition of the site.

In addition, Fendi has created a public park in the same area, opposite the kindergarten, featuring playgrounds, wide benches and following the same approach of biodiversity of the Fendi Factory landscape, with native plant species and some areas dedicated to the growth of plants to have as natural an effect as possible.

Fendi Factory is set to open in 2022.