It was midnight when we came back from the grand opening of Palazzo Barovier&Toso in Murano, Venice.
The island of Murano played host to the world’s most famous glassworks for centuries.
As Barovier&Toso manifesto assert, Time in Venice, goes by slowly. There is no rush, no craze, just a great deal of space and time. That is why Barovier&Toso took their time and in that time they learned that they would rather do something unique and enlightening that lasts forever instead of something new that only fascinates for just one season. We enjoyed the new space on the banks of Rio dei Vetrai, well refurbished and designed by Calvi Brambilla, but even the chance to experience the calm of the night in the lagoon, the canals and the “calli” (alleys).
Barovier&Toso has opened an authentic temple of luxury, a unique site in Venice in which to enjoy the majestic beauty of the company’s creations; over 900 square metres of space, an itinerary through the history of a brand that has developed colours, techniques, forms and styles, reinventing itself each time with the exclusive refinement that has made it famous all over the world.
The company founded in 1295 confirms its role as an absolute protagonist of the age-old art of glass: a technique that is almost magic, employed by master glassmakers, the sole craftsmen capable of transforming humble substances – sand, air, fire – into chandeliers of exceptional beauty and value.
Starting now, these extraordinary specimens of Made in Italy have an enchanting new home: Palazzo Barovier&Toso.
The studio Calvi Brambilla has taken charge of the project, coordinating the interior design. Calvi Brambilla is a multidisciplinary firm, founded in 2006, that combines architecture, interior design and product design. Their works are characterized by a subtly ironic spirit, the constant search for non-obvious solutions and, at the same time, by their perfect compliance with functional and financial requirements.
The building located at Fondamenta Manin 1/C – near the historic headquarters – has undergone a total renovation of its internal spaces: an essential itinerary on three levels to narrate the unique quality of the brand, through an exclusive installation in which every detail has been honed as a tribute to the timeless luxury of the collections on display. Not just a showroom, but a versatile space in which the production of Barovier&Toso enhances heterogeneous but always refined spaces, creating evocative and emotional atmospheres.
“To make the new Palazzo a reality, we have thought about a space where history and the contemporary can coexist, as the two primary essences of Barovier&Toso,” says Paolo Brambilla. “We have been able to harmoniously combine an essential, modern interior design concept with the majesty of Murano glass, enhanced by a context full of light and reflections,” architect Fabio Calvi adds.
The project is based on a contemporary reinterpretation of the typical architectural features of historic noble palaces: from the panelling to the floors in Venetian terrazzo, to the layout of the rooms, all the way to the colour that sets each room apart, generating a spectrum of chromatic atmospheres. This choice becomes the fil rouge of the whole building, offering a unique visual experience, in tune with the works of art by Jason Martin, Brigitte Kowanz and Astrid Krogh, included as a tribute to the Venice Biennale.
The ground floor, for the reception area and shopping, is done in tones of black, wrapped in soft lighting: a variegated selection of suspension and table lamps glows in an intimate, exclusive atmosphere, in perfect Barovier&Toso style.
A golden staircase connects the three levels of the palazzo and overlooks a two-story space that contains Taif, the immense chandelier designed in 1980 for one of the residences of the king of Saudi Arabia. An iconic product of colossal size that epitomizes the crafted excellence of the brand, and thus deserves a place of honour to display its full magnificence.
On the first floor, in a series of monochrome spaces – white, gold, blue, black and red – Barovier&Toso tells its story through the most prestigious collections, examples of the design freedom of the company in terms of forms, colours and compositional solutions.
The second and uppermost level is for a hall with ceiling trusses that contains the larger chandeliers in classic, modern and contemporary style. The space is airy and essential: the sole protagonist is light and the charm it unleashes in a thousand reflections on Murano glass.
The itinerary concludes with a bar area (featuring colourful exhibits of blown glass and parts taken from various chandeliers), as well as a large cafe in tones of pink, conceived to illustrate the brand’s great potential on the contract market, which has enabled it to become an exclusive partner in the making of luxury hotels, boutiques, government facilities and public spaces all over the world.
“We are proud to announce the opening of Palazzo Barovier&Toso” – says the firm’s president Rinaldo Invernizzi – “a project that is a main priority for us, confirming our programme of continuous growth and internationalisation. With this achievement we celebrate our history, our human resources and the extraordinary masterpieces of glass, in a successful combination of innovation and tradition, art and design.”
Palazzo Barovier&Toso is part of an ambitious programme of corporate growth that has also involved the brand identity over the last year, which has been entirely updated, starting with the logo – revised with the company’s colours – as well as new social network initiatives and an avant-garde website.
In the enchanting setting of Murano, it is now possible to have a direct experience of some of the most famous and best-loved chandeliers in the world, the result of technique that has made time into its most important factor of quality: a tribute to the slow pace of craftsmanship that shapes every portion of the glass, making it take on a unique, inimitable form, and to the authentic passion that for seven centuries has marked the activity of the master glassmakers of Barovier&Toso.
An ode to Italian creativity, which dictates fashions and reflects the times, through unique collections designed to light up the world’s most exclusive settings, from here to eternity.