The Pedrali Pavilion: a stage of beauty, tradition and innovation
60 years of company history through the inauguration of the Pedrali Pavilion, designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi, and of the exhibition “Pedrali60, we design a better future” curated by Luca Molinari Studio.
An anniversary to portray what Pedrali is celebrating in 2023: 60 years since its foundation. The story of two generations guided by a common vision, that of designing and producing quality furniture which stands the test of time and brings beauty into our homes and workplaces. A narrative rooted in family and business values with a progressive look to the future: Pedrali’s 60th anniversary is not a point of arrival but an inspiration for tomorrow’s progress and challenges.
The tale is framed by the Pedrali Pavilion – designed for the occasion by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi and inaugurated on 15 September in its Headquarters in Mornico al Serio (Bergamo) – which stands as a new, warm and hospitable home, ready to welcome not only those who have contributed to the company’s history but also the newer generations. Inside, the Pedrali Pavilion features the exhibition “Pedrali60, we design a better future” curated by Luca Molinari Studio, open until the end of October not just to collaborators and architects of the Pedrali community, but also to schools, customers and citizens.
Falling in 2023, the year when Bergamo and Brescia are appointed as Italian Capital of Culture, Pedrali’s 60th anniversary celebrates business culture, a set of values which the two cities of Lombardy affirm, through the voices of entrepreneurs and companies that invest and implement their know-how, day after day, in their local territory. A corporate culture that has been guiding Pedrali’s journey, alongside creativity, quality, innovation and responsibility for people and the environment, since 1963.
“The Pedrali Pavilion is located in our Headquarters in Mornico al Serio, where everything we do is conceived and comes to life. Here ideas and plans for the future are forged. The decision to build the Pavilion in our local territory reminds us of our roots, our environment. This is a new space that belongs solely to us and which will be the legacy of this very special anniversary,” says Monica Pedrali, CEO of Pedrali.
The Pedrali Pavilion by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi takes the form of a large raised roof that houses two exhibition levels, the one on the first floor hosting the exhibition “Pedrali60, we design a better future” curated by Luca Molinari Studio, while a large ground-floor portico traces a path that helps us reflect on the need to find a shared dimension in which to build our future.
The entire structure of the Pedrali Pavilion is in PEFC-certified wood, a material that embraces both the artisan tradition and production innovation that lies at the heart of the company’s core values. The project meets Pedrali’s need to create a temporary, agile, functional architecture that sums up its desire for continuous renewal and is destined to a second life within the Headquarters in Mornico al Serio, in full harmony with the surrounding territory.
The rectangular Pavilion takes the shape of a large vaulted roof resting on solid wooden legs, underscoring the importance of nomadic, easily transferable architecture.
The main structure consists of arched portals, connected to one another by horizontal beams. On the upper level, a second frame of joists intersects with the extradoses to support the large, larch shingle roof which descends to envelop the fir flooring. Both sides of the Pavilion are open, allowing natural light to flood the interior. On the ground floor, the exposed piers constitute the structure’s symbolic legs and create an evocative portico.
“The Pavilion is like a large roof that stands on its own two legs, approachable via a staircase that is also a grandstand where people, visitors, spectators can stay together. In this mobile and movable exhibition space, shows and events can be staged, which tell the story of the existence of a company, a community of people building together something that deserves to be built, distributed, sold, told, combining together the destinies of many individuals” says the architect Michele De Lucchi, founder of AMDL CIRCLE.
Visitors are greeted by an entrance staircase that serves a dual purpose: an access point to the exhibition and a platform where visitors can rest or sit and take part in presentations and talks. At the top of the steps stands a wing that houses the reception area and hides the space behind it from view, arousing curiosity about what lies beyond; and, indeed, it is here, in the gallery suspended between the arches, where the tour begins.
The exhibition snakes along two wooden panels that progressively trace the company’s 60 years through the voices of the leading figures, the prototypes, the graphic designs, the catalogues and the projects that have made the company grow over time.
“The exhibition offers a critical re-interpretation of an important element of Italy’s design scene, and a look to the future drawing on Pedrali’s strong entrepreneurial and innovative drive. Community, research, experimentation, sustainability, widespread quality, strong ties with the territory, and a two-way dialogue with designers are just some of the elements that characterize the exhibition and its paths,” says the curator Luca Molinari.
On one face of the double-sided panels physical objects are displayed, while on the other monitors are hanged collecting the evidences and voices of the Pedrali community. The wooden pedestals, between the arched portals, put the spotlight on the most iconic design pieces, revealing the expertise and production skills of this 100% Made in Italy company. The route ends at the open end of the gallery like an invitation to look forward towards the outside world and the future.
A second staircase leads to the portico on the ground floor, where the exhibition continues. This space is inspired by the loggias of ancient public buildings, once at the centre of civil life in northern Italian towns, in which citizens could stroll, interact, and take shelter from the weather. The Pedrali Pavilion also seeks to serve as an invitation to reflect on the responsibility of each individual with regard to the precarious balance of our planet. In line with this reflection, a metaphorical forest of mirrors has been set up, interspersed with panels featuring the faces and words of people who passionately build the Pedrali community, day after day. The layout is designed so that visitors can immerse themselves and get lost in a magical forest in which the images of those who work at Pedrali today are added to their own refractions, thereby creating a prismatic portrait of a community that is growing ever wider and ideally extends to everyone, projecting the company towards its future.
“Starting from our roots and following the teachings of our father Mario, we continue to build the history of Pedrali, drawing on the collaborative spirit of all our employees, who have always believed in the company and are committed to achieving common goals, day after day. We wish to thank AMDL CIRCLE, Michele De Lucchi and Luca Molinari Studio for having helped us to make this journey even more special,” continue the company’s CEOs, Monica and Giuseppe Pedrali.
Pedrali: an entrepreneurial story guided by family values
The exhibition traces a company history that began back in 1963, when Mario Pedrali opened a new business in Palazzolo sull’Oglio, in the province of Brescia, drawing on an artisan culture gained in the field of metal processing. Driven by a passion for his work and a desire to experiment and fulfil his dreams, he first applied his know-how in a workshop specialising in the production of wrought iron garden furniture.
From the very beginning, the company was founded on the values of beauty and Italian craftsmanship, reflected in an ability to leverage manual skills to enhance the quality of Pedrali’s materials and products, which have always been entirely developed in Italy through a process that combines tradition and innovation, engineering excellence and creative ingenuity.
Ever since the early 1960s, the desire to establish himself both locally and internationally prompted Mario Pedrali to take part in industry trade shows and events, the Fiera del Progresso in Palazzolo sull’Oglio paved the way for more than 230 exhibits that Pedrali has featured since the company’s establishment.
“I started first of all with local trade shows, later – from the 1970s – expanding my horizons to Italy as a whole and foreign countries as well. At that time, Pedrali’s borders gradually started to expand, exporting first to Germany, then France and America,” says Mario Pedrali, founder and Honorary President of the company.
Apart from residential projects, as early as the 1970s the company started opening up to the contract world. A particularly emblematic encounter in this regard was that between the entrepreneur and the architect Luigi Vietti, based on which Fratelli Pedrali created a series of furnishing elements for the Santa Tecla Palace Hotel in Acireale. Today, Pedrali’s products bring the beauty of Italian excellence into everyday life, furnishing and embellishing projects all over the world, including Michelin-starred restaurants such as Alain Ducasse’s “The Dorchester”, luxurious hotels, prestigious offices, and renowned school campuses.
“Italian production excellence is something unique that cannot be reproduced elsewhere. In our country, we have a culture for beauty, for art; we have craftsmanship, workmanship, and an extensive technical expertise. These combine with cutting-edge technologies, interconnected machinery and digitalisation to make “Made in Italy” an inimitable guarantee,” says Monica Pedrali.
Since the 2000s, this guarantee has encouraged many Italian and foreign designers to establish lasting collaborations with the company, and these have resulted in numerous iconic collections.
The Snow and Frida chairs by Odo Fioravanti, the Ypsilon table by Jorge Pensi Design Studio, and the designs by CMP Design and Patrick Jouin are just some of the products on which Pedrali has built its image, bringing the company to the attention of design industry critics and enabling it to win prestigious prizes and awards. The most prestigious, awarded in 2011, was the XXII Compasso d’Oro ADI for Frida.
However, signs of recognition were not granted to the products alone: in 2017, Mario Pedrali received the special “Olivetti Entrepreneur of the Year” Prize “for creating a great furniture factory inspired by an Olivetti-style concept of design and, at the same time, for drawing on his passion as a collector to give life to a great Office Machines Museum in Palazzolo sull’Oglio, housing the best collection of Olivetti typewriters”. Indeed, Mario Pedrali carried out his investments in an honest, attentive and far-sighted way, combining the quantitative and qualitative growth of his company, its collaborators and the reference community.
Innovation and technology have always shaped Pedrali’s personality: innovative technological solutions and processes that transform design into premium industrial production. Advanced machinery and process automation technology, for example, enable faster production and internal handling.
The first CNC machines and robotic welding systems of the 1980s and the plastics processing techniques of the 1990s are just some of the stages that have outlined a technological and innovative path that has evolved and developed in line with the company’s growth into what we can undoubtedly call an industry 4.0. This progression reached its utmost expression with the Fili d’Erba automated warehouse designed for Pedrali by CZA – Cino Zucchi Architetti. This state-of-the-art, fully automated facility operates 24/7 for the storage of 16,880 pallets of finished and semi-finished products. The 29-metre high building covers a total area of 7,000 square metres connected to the existing industrial area via a skytrain and ten self-steering shuttles.
“We have always invested in cutting-edge technologies, machinery and plants; and this, alongside the contribution of the people who daily place their know-how and workmanship at the disposal of the company, is what allows us to really make a difference. The beauty of Pedrali’s products lies in this very combination of technology and know-how, with beauty, tradition and innovation acting as a common thread as an expression of our identity,” says the CEO, Giuseppe Pedrali.
Pedrali’s sustainable philosophy
Sustainability, alongside technological innovation, continues to guide the company’s choices, not only with regard to products but also in terms of the efficiency of processes and production sites.
“Sustainability is a very important aspect, I would say it’s a cornerstone for us,” says Monica Pedrali. To this end, in 2020 the company presented its first “recycled grey” products, made from recycled polypropylene: 50% post-consumer waste and 50% industrial waste. The company’s sustainability is further confirmed by the use of FSC® C114358 certified wood from controlled forests and of water-based coatings composed mostly of plant-derived resins, as well as the study of the company’s Corporate Carbon Footprint since 2018. This study measures the total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused both directly and indirectly, by the organisation in a given time span.
With a view to continuously improving the company’s sustainability, Pedrali is also making a series of investments aimed at reducing its environmental impact in terms of CO2 equivalent emissions by means of a set of clearly identifiable goals.
For example, it has installed over 6000 sqm of photovoltaic panels at its factories, producing 1.2 MW of energy during periods of high light intensity, a power capacity capable of meeting the energy needs of the Mornico al Serio production site. To reduce energy consumption, during the cold season the hot water produced in plastic injection processes is recovered and ducted into the other production departments to heat them. Likewise, during the warmer season, a system composed of cooling towers lowers the temperature of the mould water, reducing the consumption of water itself. The company has also converted all internal and external lighting fixtures to LED lights.
“Pursuing our environmental commitment, maintaining production in Italy, designing and producing furniture that brings beauty and well-being into our home and work environments: these are just some of the aspects that will continue to guide the company’s choices. We have always believed in intergenerational coexistence and in the importance of transmitting to young people the skills of our country’s know-how, keeping craftsmanship and tradition alive based on the teachings of our father Mario. Such skills and competences, alongside technological development, perseverance, passion and dedication, are what will shape the future of Pedrali,” say Monica and Giuseppe Pedrali.
The exhibition “Pedrali60, we design a better future” is open to the public subject to booking. For details, please click on: https://uqr.to/pedrali60
For further information contact: p. +39 035 83588
Beauty, tradition and innovation
Pedrali is an Italian company that produces contemporary furniture for contract and residential. The collection is the result of a careful and accurate research aimed to create functional and versatile industrial design products made of metal, plastic materials, wood as well as upholstery. Seatings, tables, complements and lighting exclusively manufactured in Italy through a design process which combines tradition and innovation, engineering excellence and creative brilliance.
The “100% Made in Italy” philosophy becomes real through the internal production in the headquarters of Mornico al Serio (Bergamo), where the automated warehouse designed by architect Cino Zucchi is based, and in the wood division in Manzano (Udine).
The high quality and respect for the environment represent long-established practices. This is proved by the use of water-based coatings, made principally from plant-derived resins, for the wooden products, and by the certifications UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 for quality management system, UNI EN ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management system, UNI ISO 45001:2018 for occupational health and safety, FSC® C114358 for the use of timber from certified forests and Greenguard for low emissions of toxic substances.
In 2020 the company has presented its first collections made from recycled polypropylene and completed the study on Corporate Carbon Footprint which allows an overview of the impact of the production cycle on the environment, obtaining the certification UNI EN ISO 14064-1:2019 in 2021.
The experimentation of production technologies, the use of different materials and the cooperation with many designers have allowed Pedrali to achieve important awards such as the Compasso d’Oro ADI for Frida chair.
2023 marks an important milestone for Pedrali: its 60th anniversary, since the company was founded in 1963. For the occasion, the Pedrali Pavilion was designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi to house the exhibition “Pedrali60, we design a better future” curated by Luca Molinari Studio.