Whether it’s the process of brewing a coffee in the morning, preparing dinner or going to the fridge for a peek, or a snack, kitchen routines are deeply personal. Good kitchens are the heart of a home, a place to bond with family over tea, meals and whipped-up snacks; they are often the difference between a house and a home.
And that is exactly where Officine Gullo has excelled for two generations. Through intimate collaborations and conversations with the customer, artisans, engineers, and creatives, a unique story is crafted within every kitchen. The process starts with an extensive exchange with the customer and a deep dive into their routines, habits, desires and spaces of their house — aesthetics and functions emerge in a physical manifestation of the customers’ tastes and requirements. The sales and marketing team are all architects who consult with clients every step of the way, curating a tailored experience and end-product.
Officine Gullo’s ascent to the pinnacle of kitchen design can be attributed to its seamless blending of tradition, modernity and innovation. Manfredi Conforzi is the head of the design department. His key interest in modern elegance coupled with an eye for Italian customs and culture, represents exactly what OG stands for and delivers. Conforzi was originally a designer of yachts, and the discerning Wanted reader would recognise his work on the iconic MAS 36 yacht. Conforzi’s cosmopolitan foundations as diverse experience, informs the leading design decisions coming out of Officine Gullo today.
W: What is the signature of Officine Gullo, what differentiates your designs?
MC: All our products are made of only noble metals: steel, brass and copper. Fine materials with superlative properties based on bygone traditions are selected and handcrafted, resulting in timeless and beguiling creations. When designing an Officine Gullo kitchen, one has to keep in mind that it has no plan of obsolescence so it is designed to last for various lifetimes and so the responsibility behind creating something that will remain in the generations drives us into designing something that is truly unique and original and so it has to bring out the soul of the house.
W: What informs your designs ?
MC: For Officine Gullo design is interpreted in two ways: the first is the product design. Eternal design, top performance, tradition and innovation: these are the cornerstones on which Officine Gullo has built its success as one of the leading Italian design companies worldwide. In [our] kitchens, tailor-made structures coexist alongside innovative technology of cooking and refrigeration equipment. Design is what joins these two very different spirits, blending the tradition of artistic metalworking with precision mechanics.
The second is the project design, that means to integrate our products in the style of the house of the owner, like a tailored suit, sewn according to the clients wishes and needs of the surroundings. Every kitchen has to be iconic, original and unmistakably characteristic. It must be a true reflection of the house in which it is designed and the client to whom it belongs. The important thing while designing a kitchen is to understand who the kitchen will be used by, so we have to analyse the family, or the chef or the person that will be using the kitchen and try to transfer the identity and the characteristics of the person onto the kitchen.
W: What is your production process?
MC: Every Officine Gullo creation is based on intense dialogue with the client and an in-depth study of the actual space where the kitchen will be installed. The first meeting enables the designer to understand the client’s tastes, ideas and expectations, as well as evaluating the space and studying the most appropriate solutions for the ambience in relation to the rest of the house. Once compiled, the project is submitted to the technical team to check its feasibility and functionality.
Technical approval paves the way to graphic design with 3D rendering. High-level research results in the final projection of what the kitchen will look like in the actual home context. Only then, after final confirmation by the client, the doors open to the production workshop. That’s why Officine Gullo kitchens are unique: every kitchen differs because it reflects the unique wishes and individual lifestyle of its owner.
The production premises extend across 10,000m2, in Strada in Chianti, near Florence, in the Tuscan countryside. This is where the careful craftsmanship of metalworking encounters innovative modern technology. In the Officine Gullo production process, each detail is handcrafted.
W: What are some of your favourite projects/creations?
MC: The most iconic Officine Gullo collection and one of my favourites is the “OG Professional”: a series of professional cooking suites that feature characteristics beyond the ordinary. Our cooking ranges are the central pivot point around which the kitchen revolves. We have decades of experience in focalising the ranges as the face of the kitchen. The result is an extraordinary cooking range that enables the client to cook at home like in a top restaurant. A restaurant at home which not only means the professional equipment found in a restaurant, but also a focus on the fact that the kitchen is in a home environment, therefore a pursuit for the utmost ergonomics for every single component, so that they can be used easily in everyday life.