Fendi HQ Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, Rome

2015 Roma, Italy

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, designed as a large travertine cube, synthesizes the force of matter and form in a simple and monumental architectural statement. Inside the building, empty and unused since its construction, we were able to accommodate the various business activities of the historic Roman fashion house. One of the primary objectives of the project was to open up the structure to public for the first time. The main floor is thus dedicated to diverse public spaces that include an exhibition area, bookshop, café and lounges. The vertical marble cladding, the original red marble flooring and the large crystal and brass chandeliers have been carefully restored to bring them back to their original beauty. The lighting design is characterized by a continuous luminous surface composed of electrified tracks on which LED tubes and spotlights are applied, allowing for greater flexibility for the different display requirements. The offices are distributed from the second to the seventh floors, arranged according to the needs of the individual departments. The project complies with the desire to maintain an open and unique perception of the space. The only exception are the meeting rooms and executive offices, closed by lightweight and transparent structures. On each floor the core of the building is enveloped by the large double-height library. The large wooden sliding doors are screen printed with stylized designs of the furs that have shaped the history of the Maison. The new floors, in order to minimize the impact of the systems and to preserve the original marble floors, are actually floating slabs of calcium silicate coated with wood. The lighting system, designed to meet the technical requirements of work spaces, is characterized by an assembly of horizontal elements that breaks up the large floor to ceiling heights and hide the lighting bodies, which are never visible from the outside. On the third floor a bridge made of steel and glass passes through the central courtyard linking the landing of the floor and the presidential office area. From the side terraces it will be possible to appreciate the site-specific work of a major landscape artist. The basement of the building is devoted to the many activities that do not require exposure to natural light, such as equipment rooms and services, post office, repositories, warehouses and product documentation archives. Along the peripheral areas, lit by numerous windows and large glass-brick skylights, the office activities and laboratory are concentrated. It is in the fur atelier that Fendi produces all furs and for this reason, we have designed an environment dedicated to the construction of the garments with a large exhibition space.