FLORENCE AS INSPIRATION
NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT FLORENCE
“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. The wonders of this astonishing place inspire us every day; they guide our imagination every time we devote ourselves to a project. I’m thinking about the perfect geometry concealed on the frontages of Florence’s palazzos, in the frescoes and sculptures which we have as a guideline while we forge the metal for our creations.”
Officine Gullo was founded in Florence, Italy, where Carmelo Gullo honed bespoke kitchens and accessories inherited from the finest nineteenth-century Florentine cooking traditions, in partnership with local mechanical workshops and bronze artisans, shaping noble metals such as high-thickness steel, burnished copper, cast iron and brass. Officine Gullo kitchens have always shone with their handcrafted, prestigious metal finishes.
Kitchens manufactured entirely from metal and made to measure for stately villas have been a highlight of the Florentine artisan tradition for centuries. During the 1900s, as the steel industry gained pace, countless artistic foundries around Florence developed expertise in crafting fine metal kitchens, which became a object of desire for all of Europe’s upper middle classes.
This tradition was on the verge of being lost forever when Carmelo Gullo returned the custom to life by carefully saving the appearance, materials and techniques before flanking the past with modern technology used to cook and store food in professional kitchens.
HUMANISM IN FLORENCE
Officine Gullo is worlds apart culturally from large-scale distribution due to its values, methods, procedures and objectives. Everyone who works with the company has an overview of the product in the design and manufacturing phases. The sales and marketing office is staffed by architects who define projects alongside clients so as to accompany them in every stage of the process, from initial drafts to final installation. Each of the craftspeople on site in the workshop are adept at crafting a kitchen from start to finish, making clients’ dreams and designers’ plans come true. Versatile in their methods, the company’s artisans are bronze and blacksmiths, welders and burnishers; there’s no specific training that prepares our employees for Officine Gullo because here we work with all metals: brass, copper, steel, aluminium and bronze. Every metal has an essence, way of being and technique, and all our craftspeople have to learn all this through in-house training under the tutelage of master artisans.
Today’s hyperspecialization has turned humans into a mere cog in the industrial machine. By investing in quality and focusing on craftsmanship, Officine Gullo has established itself on the global market, inverting the trend by putting humans first, as well as their needs, knowledge, abilities and inventiveness, our capacity to learn and communicate. Putting humans at the centre doesn’t only means having an overview, a sense of responsibility and knowledge about the company. First and foremost, this means having the creativity, vision and courage to venture into unknown territory. It’s the same spirit that, at the height of the Renaissance, lead to Italian navigators discovering and exploring the New World. Throughout its history, Officine Gullo has known how to embrace market trends before they became fashionable. This was made possible thanks to the company’s in-person relationships with clients, always listening to their wishes and fulfilling their requirements.
The strength of the company lies in being firmly rooted in centuries-old humanistic values that put humans first, whether that’s entrepreneurs with their courage and creativity, or skilled coworkers, or clients with their hopes and visions for the future.
ARTISANS, THE PRIDE OF ITALIAN CREATIVITY
Officine Gullo kitchens are creations handcrafted in a highly technological production cycle. Expert hands shape materials, bestowing them with a unique soul through the light and shade of chiselling and burnishing. The human eye succeeds where machinery is unable to do so, distinguishing between perfection and mediocrity. The dexterity of the company’s master artisans plays an essential role in the crafting of the kitchens. For this reason, Officine Gullo has instituted “Progetto Memoria”, a programme aimed at valuing the human factor in production and to preserve the exclusive knowledge associated with the centuries-old legacy of craftspeople.
On entering the company, all Officine Gullo artisans embark on a training course aimed at preserving centuries-old metalworking and Florentine decorative art techniques. The teaching, like in the workshops of old, takes place daily under the tutelage of master craftspeople. This programme was made possible thanks to the guidance of individuals who still cherish the artisanal traditions and techniques that belonged to their forefathers. These master craftspeople long to support and promote the knowledge and value of traditions. Some of these stories of lifestyle, mastery and passion have been gathered and will be used to enrich the knowledge archive that Officine Gullo has pledged to preserve.