Valenza, Italy–Bulgari has opened a new manufacturing facility that marries forward-thinking design with the history of Italian jewelry-making.
Officially opened Friday in Valenza, a city renowned for its history as a center of goldsmithing, the Manifattura Bulgari is 150,695 square feet and replaces two pre-existing factories in Valenza and Solonghello.
“Our two production sites in Valenza and Solonghello were saturated and couldn’t be expanded any further,” explained Bulgari Jewelry Business Unit Operational Director Nicolò Rapone. “We came up with the idea of concentrating production in a single pole, to expand the brand’s production capacity and supply the volumes required to respond to the growing market.”
The Manifattura Bulgari combines Roman design with Valenzan tradition, the company said.
The Manifattura Bulgari began production in January 2017 with about 400 employees and took 18 months to complete. The company hopes to grow the number of workers by creating 300 additional jobs by 2020, the majority of which will be jewelry-making positions.
The site will be responsible for the production of all Bulgari jewelry, excluding the high jewelry collections produced in the company’s Roman atelier.
Manifattura Bulgari is comprised of two buildings.
The first is the Cascina dell’Orefice, which roughly translates to “golden farmhouse,” a historic building that Bulgari says is the same place where goldsmith Francesco Caramora arrived in the early 19th century before going on to make Valenza a booming gold and jewelry capital.
Bulgari has restored the Cascina dell’Orefice, adding offices and conference rooms and attaching a modern, all-glass wing called the “Glass House,” inspired by a Roman “domus” dwelling.
The second building is a three-story production facility, featuring a 6,458-square-foot courtyard and designed to blend seamlessly with the environment, following sustainability criteria and using materials with low environmental impact.
The new production facility boasts an expansive courtyard.
Bulgari said that its goal is for the second building to gain LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) international certification by the end of 2017.
“With this project, Bulgari is betting on the worth of its roots and expertise that has been handed down over the centuries,” CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said. “The art of goldsmithing is an area in which Italy particularly excels. A perfect blend of past and present, it brings together a love of beauty and traditional skill that have made Italy the world leader in jewelry and goldsmithing.”
As part of this investment in the future, the company has created the Bulgari Jewellery Academy, an in-house technical training center for new employees located at the Manifattura Bulgari. The academy is opening this month with a class of 21 students.
Bulgari will train its new employees at its in-house academy.
“The Bulgari Jewellery Academy is something that makes us very proud,” Rapone said. “(It) will be a true in-house goldsmithing school where new employees may refine their skills and put their talents to work. It will be a gateway to the world of Bulgari jewelry, allowing them to approach our brand’s specific techniques and ways of working and get used to them.
“Furthermore the school will encourage an art form which has always represented Italian excellence. (The) magic is that we can teach this incredible art in the place where it began. All over the Italian territory, from North to South, there are young people interested in the art of goldsmithing.”