Focus


Work has begun on converting the Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence

A new hub of creativity and making in the former Florentine cigar factory.
 

04 May 2021

The construction site that will transform the Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence, the former cigar factory closed in March 2001 after seventy years of activity, has officially opened with a digital streaming event. By September 2022 it will see the birth of Factory, an innovative creative and productive district dedicated to culture, fashion, art and craftsmanship. 

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Manifattura Tabacchi - Courtesy of Setten Genesio SpA © UDB Studio

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Manifattura Tabacchi - Courtesy of Setten Genesio SpA © UDB Studio

Factory is part of the wider Manifattura Tabacchi Masterplan, an ambitious redevelopment project that will see the entire historic industrial area (16 buildings covering a total of approximately 110,000 square metres) redeveloped into a new city centre dedicated to contemporary makers, with ateliers, offices, coworking, restaurants and exhibition spaces by 2026. An articulated functional mix of restored original buildings and new constructions.

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One of the first to bet on the success of the redevelopment operation is Polimoda, a prestigious fashion-oriented school, recognised as one of the ten best fashion schools in the world, which has acquired an entire building and is already hosting its third campus in the city from January 2020, with the presence and passage of over 800 international students. 

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Manifattura Tabacchi - Polimoda © Serena Gallorini

The architectural project of Factory includes the renovation of Buildings 4 and 5, which will host executive, makers and coworking spaces, commercial activities with shops, ateliers and restaurants: a new meeting and exchange centre inspired by the community places and workshops of the past. In the heart of the Factory, in Building 11, will be located NAM-Not a Museum, a place dedicated to production, research and experimentation for contemporary arts. On the roof will rise the Officina Botanica, the true landmark of the entire Masterplan: a roof garden open to the public, with over 100 trees and 1300 shrubs, perennials and herbs. 

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Manifattura Tabacchi - Courtesy of Setten Genesio SpA © UDB Studio

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The ambitious Masterplan was developed by Sanaa (Pritzker Prize 2010) in collaboration with Studio Mumbai according to the functional programme initially proposed by Concrete Architectural Associates. The development was then assigned to studio Q-bic, Studio Antonio Perazzi and award-winning Piuarch for the new building.

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Since 2018, Manifattura Tabacchi has been promoting an intense programme of creative and cultural activities and presences, including the Florence Academy of Fine Arts, the LVMH Institute of Crafts of Excellence (IME) and animation startup DogHead Animation. In the transformation complex, there are already more than 1,000 people, including professionals, students, makers and workers, who gravitate daily around Manifattura Tabacchi.



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