Nicky Lobo takes a side trip to the Bisazza headquarters in Vicenza.
October 5th, 2010
Located near Vicenza, about a two-hour bus ride from where Cersaie is held, is the flagship Bisazza showroom. They had been taking place all week so I was surprised that the bus driver seemed to have lost his way as we pulled into a circular driveway in front of a museum-looking building. As he parked I thought, “Ah, he’s going to ask for directions, that’s sensible.”
Our small group followed him outside the bus to stretch our legs and I had a closer look at one of the sculptures on the manicured lawn. Covered in tiny, perfect mosaics. I realised this WAS the Bisazza showroom.
It’s stunning. The structure is the original production factory, with lovely timber bones and vast internal spaces in white that make up the gallery. Mosaics are used throughout in just about every application, on the floor, feature walls, infills in tables, and as the medium for all the artworks as well.
First we listed to a presentation on the new products to be released in 2011. There are 13 new colour blends that integrate into existing colourways, named after cities around the world (including Sydney, a vibrant blue). The Crystal Collection, which previewed at Salone this year incorporates 1x1cm crystals specially cut by Swarovski to produce maximum sparkle. When you think crystal and mosaic, you might think garish, but the ironic designs include combinations of robots/hearts and skulls/crowns among others.
The Bisazza Design Studio offers a range of service to assist in the creation, planning and implementation of their mosaics in projects all around the world. An online library on the new website allows you to download 3D files, an authenticity verification so customers can be assured they haven’t purchased fakes, and the design team can also cost your project and provide a 3D rendering and fixing plan if supplied with your DWG drawing.
Within the winding interior of the building, each room is dedicated to a particular designer that has collaborated by creating an artwork using Bisazza tiles exclusively. I have to say this is a beautiful meeting of art and design, with every piece not only showing the possibilities of the mosaic medium, but also expressing the artist’s personality and providing some kind of comment.
Marcel Wanders’ room contains a ridiculously long car (which actually works I’m told) pulling along a trailer-bath. And right in the centre of the room, follow the red carpet leading up mosaic steps to a glorious shrine…. With his mosaiced face on the side.
Alessandro Mendini has created a series of storage units for men’s accessories. The units themselves are fairly standard, but atop each one is an oversized item in gold mosaic – shoe, hat, glove, briefcase, you get the idea.
Jaime Hayon’s version is a mosaic aeroplane, in another room Studio Job has gone Alice In Wonderland-style with giant sets of cutlery and other household accessories such as a spoon and a chandelier, which are available in a limited edition in case you need such a thing for the dining room.
One area is dedicated entirely to the Bisazza Home range, which is added to almost every year with furniture pieces, such as storage units, chairs, a screen by Patricia Urquiola etc. My favourite was a simple-looking lounge chair, covered in mosaics, yet still squishy when you sat in it.
All in all, inspiring design and excellent craftsmanship – the curves and joins these pieces achieve are incredible.
Thank you Bisazza for what was quite an experience.
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