Porcelain stoneware and glass for the recovery of Mutti's factory

Since 1899, the world-famous tomato has been produced in the factory of the Mutti Brothers, at the bottom of the hill between Montechiarugolo, Traversetolo and Basilicanova.

Recently, the renovation of the structure involved the building of new Mutti offices, thanks to a design idea of the architect Paolo Bedogni and Francesco Mutti - CEO of the company since 1994.

The project, based on the recovery of the historic brick building, an exceptional example of industrial archeology, is the result of a stimulating process in which ancient and new elements were combined to give back vitality to the abandoned area of the factory. The addition of metal and glass enhances the historic body and the integration of the existing offices. By preserving and reconfiguring the eighteenth-century building, a new connection between the various parts of the company is created, with meeting places, promenades, terraces, stairs and ramps.


The real hub is the entrance halls, which is one of the most important environments of the whole operation: it connects the surrounding spaces, the company and all its people. It is the place in which people meets. Resembling a tomato, its shape is inviting, soft and without sharp edges. Its circularity makes it obviously the best place for a reception. It has been artfully placed within a previous empty space, paying special attention to the intersection of the paths, which starts and intertwine there.

A special attention has been given to the design of offices, meeting rooms, and places of relationship and refreshment, environments designed to promote the creativity of the individual by developing the potential of group work. In these rooms, the areas of sharing, meeting and communication – which are considered more important than the single workstation – contrast with snung, reflexive and individual ones. The project is more complex than a simple working environment: the aim was to build a stimulating, exciting, creative place to represent the most authentic spirit of the Italian brand.

Energy saving and materials

The design of this building focuses on the relationship between architecture, tradition and sustainability. Thanks to the respect of its architectural structure, the careful recovery of the complex generates a sort of visit through the history of the company. With its structure, the building leads those who enter to wander with interest, even with their eyes, in different places and at different heights, pointing to those signs that evoke company's historical identity: colors, materials and perforated bricks. The high floor windows of the hall overlook the green of a large garden and allow the eye to go further, towards the cultivated fields of the Parma hill.

Just like leather, the large technology windows overlapping the south facades enclose the historic building and create horizontal and vertical distribution spaces, thus becoming more than a simple shelter from the outside environment.

For the design of the plant and structure, great attention has been paid to environmental matters related to energy saving and CO2 emissions, by taking into account the bioclimatic features of the site. Thanks to the renovation, the building obtained performances corresponding to the Class Energy A.

The prevalent use of ceramics, provided by Casalgrande Padana, is an added value for the project, in both its architectural composition and the choice of finishes. The selected flooring marks the different functional areas, looking for essentiality by means of color matching, functionality and the expressive potential of ceramic materials in the attention to details. The light shades of the fine porcelain stoneware slabs covering the ground floor of hall, offices and connecting paths enhance the spaces by establishing a constant relationship with the architectural shape.

All workplace floorings are characterized by two full-length technical compartments (made with the Twin System technology) for the systems’ passage, to provide the maximum flexibility to all workstations.

The elegance of the ivory color of the Pietra di Sardegna is matched to the warm tones of cotto tiles, the wood furnishings, the red of the hall and the blue of the ancient recovered shutters, creating refined material combinations in every environments.

While in the offices the choice of porcelain stoneware tiles has a neutral intention, in the bathrooms the selected walls’ covering has a strong symbolic meaning. The vital energy of “Mutti red” color, interpreted with the natural red Granitoker slabs, stands out in the wall covering, intensified by the chromatic contrast with the pure tonality of ceramic furnishings. On the first floor, the light and dark effects of natural light, which reflects on the polychrome stained glass windows, are bring out by the neutral color of the pavement, with red and gold shades (Mutti’s typical colors).

*used materials

  • Casalgrande Padana PIETRE NATIVE
    • Series: Pietra di Sardegna
    • Format: 90x90, 45x90
    • Color: Portorotondo
    • Finish: Natural
  • Casalgrande Padana GRANITOKER
    • Series: Loft
    • Format: 60x60, 30x60
    • Color: Red
    • Finish: Natural