Officine Gullo's new space in Florence is perhaps the world's most unusual kitchen showroom in the world. A deconsecrated chapel in the complex of Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti has become the new home of the Florentine kitchen brand.
Officine Gullo in Florence
Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti is a legendary place in Catholic culture: a Baroque church from 1627 (its current structure replacing the original1250s building), it is the burial place of early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, Age of Discovery explorer Amerigo Vespucci, and Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger sister Carolina. Inside, are a plethora of important Renaissance works, including several paintings by Giotto and frescoes by Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio.
The location is a rather fitting background for Officine Gullo. Inspired by Tuscan cooking traditions and the local approach to craftsmanship, Carmelo Gullo launched the company he is now running with his three sons as a celebration of artisanal excellence and gastronomy.
The Officine Gullo House is a striking space that nods to the rituals behind cooking, presenting and consuming food, elevating each moment. It is also a location that allows Officine Gullo to fully immerse the company in the city whose history inspired it.
‘The beauty of the city, in which we have the good fortune to live and work, amalgamates the two cores of our production: tradition and technology,’ says Gullo. ‘The wonders of this astonishing place inspire us every day; they guide our imagination every time we devote ourselves to a project.’
The space was created in collaboration with Milanese studio SuperSpatial, who leda renovation focused on discreetly adding modern touches that would complement the site’s Renaissance elements. The renovation was faithful to the location’s sacred layout: a large tailor-made Officine Gullo kitchen stands where an altar would normally be. It’s a bespoke composition featuring an island, two ovens, four gas burners, a coup de feu, a pasta cooker, and induction and preparation hobs. Officine Gullo’s guests dine at a special table placed in front of the kitchen island, so they can fully experience the surroundings.
‘The architecture of the space, and its location in the centre of Florence, reflectour brand values: a luxury kitchen maker that creates in continuity with the Florentine tradition of exquisite craftsmanship,’ says Manfredi Conforzi, commercial director of Officine Gullo. ‘But the location is not just an exhibition space: it’s a place where true brand experiences can be lived. The display kitchen is fully functional, allowing for the hosting of events and private dinners. This perfectly aligns with Officine Gullo’s vision of bringing the pleasure of cooking and convivial moments to people around the world.’
Each Officine Gullo kitchen is a unique combination of craft, technology and precision, and the company’s virtually unlimited customisation opportunities make its offering highly desirable. The design is rooted in both tradition and modernity, with a modular system that can be adapted to any space and which features timeless details that reflect the craft and mechanical engineering behind it. To create a bespoke kitchen, customers can choose from a catalogue featuring appliances, cooking ranges and accessories, including 10kW gas burners, lava stone grills, professional fryers, polished fry tops and steamers. Each element is available in seven finishings that range from burnished brass and copper chrome to 24ct gold, with an unlimited choice of colours. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then surely the dream bespoke kitchen isn’t far behind.
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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