Gavazzi: A tale of unceasing innovation

Dario Buzzi, Sales & Marketing Director at Gavazzi, tells Domus about the 140-year-long company journey, revealing its attitude towards innovation and the latest successes in the architectural field.

Established in 1881, today Gavazzi Tessuti Tecnici is a leading company in the technical textile field. From architecture to the plastics industry, from mosaic manufacturers to sporting goods, from composite materials for the wind power and nautical sector to ballistic protection, Gavazzi has expanded its presence within various markets over the years, while maintaining its aptitude for innovation in each field.

“If we look back to 15-20 years ago, I believe that half of the products that we are presenting today didn’t even exist,” states Dario Buzzi, Sales & Marketing Director at Gavazzi.

Our conversation with Mr. Buzzi started from the recent publication of Gavazzi compie 140 anni. Tradizione e innovazione dal 1881 a oggi (Gavazzi Turns 140. Tradition and Innovation Since 1881) which was conceived to be a choral account of the company's history: “The volume is a testimony of those who worked in the company, including Mr Redaelli, who started at Gavazzi in 1949 and is now 97 years old. It tells stories from a different world, a different era. We wanted to fix this deep and layered memory by collecting it in an object that will last over the years.”

An excerpt from the book "Gavazzi compie 140 anni. Tradizione e innovazione dal 1881 a oggi"

Through the voices of those who worked and still work in the company, the publication brings to light the long journey of Gavazzi from 1881 to today: “Some products that were made over 100 years ago are unimaginable in a world based on industrial manufacturing: we produced ribbons for the fashion industry whose color was obtained by soaking them in a bowl with the dye for a very specific time. Today, we mostly handle technical textiles. A branch of the company works with the design and architectural worlds, so aesthetics is very important; while other materials are purely technical and therefore hidden from the eye and only used as a reinforcement,” explains Buzzi.

The title of the publication highlights an approach that has remained unchanged over the decades. “Tradition and innovation are words we love to bring close together. There is a saying in English that goes ‘tradition boosts innovation.’ Tradition is in fact not in contradiction with innovation but a boost towards it. Our history and our experience – even in things we don’t manufacture anymore – has settled in and today provides us with the skillset and know how that allow us to be more proactive when it comes to innovation.”

Amon Gavazzi’s products, the wall covering, under the Gavatex®, brand stand out. Gavazzi turned technical fiberglass fabrics into the best solutions to finish interior walls of public, private, and commercial buildings. Using technical fabrics is one of the most innovative ways to meet all the decorative and functional needs of any kind of environment.

In 140 Gavazzi has transformed itself from a company with a craft vocation to a company with innovative plants and processes

Dario Buzzi talks about his role within the company. “Gavatex® and wall coverings in general are our jewel in the crown. Although they represent a small proportion of a company's turnover compared to other products, they are important in terms of the recognition and image they bring to the company. Thanks to these materials, we entered incredible places, from the Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan to the Antalya Airport in Turkey, and even the notable Parco Principi Hotel in Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast.”

Among Gavazzi’s most prestigious architectural achievements in recent years stands the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, where the company participated in the completion of the roofing. We wrap up our conversation with Dario Buzzi by discussing this one-of-a-kind design experience.

The Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, where Gavazzi participated in the construction of the new roofing

“The problem with roofing of soccer stadiums is weight. Soccer facilities are much larger than those for baseball or tennis − where solutions are more easily found. We solved this problem through the skillful use of our composite materials. Our fiberglass fabrics were used to make carbon fiber epoxy beams. These lightweight, 75-meter-long beams simplified the lifting and installation process, significantly limited the weight, and reduced energy consumption of the hardware needed to open and close the stadium roof in less than fifteen minutes. The project “A Composite Roof for the Stadium of Real Madrid” was awarded the JEC Innovation Award in Paris. In other words, it was definitely a wonderful experience.”

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