Manifattura Tabacchi: a jewel of 1930s architecture

Manifattura Tabacchi, Florence. Photo: FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano

With the arrival of autumn, we inaugurated our new premises in Florence. After four years of planning, we had decided to change location and move to a bigger space. After some initial uncertainty, our final choice fell on a space in the Manifattura Tabacchi architectural complex, an area undergoing intense redevelopment in the north of Florence, near the Cascine Park.

Manifattura Tabacchi, Florence. Photo: Laura Viviani

Manifattura Tabacchi (formerly a cigar factory) is a perfect example of rationalist architecture, composed of sixteen buildings, covering a total area of 100,000 square meters. The project, strongly backed by the Monopolio di Stato (Italian Tabacco Monopoly), was entrusted to the architects Giovanni Bartoli and Pier Luigi Nervi, who began construction in 1933. Also part of the original complex, the Teatro Puccini is easily identifiable by its glass tower, similar to the “Tower of Marathon” of the Stadio Artemio Franchi, a sports stadium also designed by Nervi.

Teatro Puccini, Manifattura Tabacchi, Florence

Today, part of the Manifattura Tabacchi complex has been restored and returned to the city of Florence, becoming a meeting place for lovers of art and design, a lively and active multicultural complex just outside the center of the Tuscan capital.

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