In 1908, Camillo Olivetti founded the industrial city of Ivrea, which between the 1930s and the 1960s grew under the direction of Adriano Olivetti – in parallel with the family company, “Olivetti”, manufacturer of typewriters, mechanical calculators, and office computers. This social project that expresses a modern vision of the relationship between industrial production and architecture is inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site as ‘Industrial city of the 20th century‘. However, Adriano Olivetti didn’t stop in Ivrea and in 1951, gave the engineer Luigi Cosenza a mandate to build a factory in Pozzuoli in the province of Naples to contribute to the economic and social development of the south of the country.
“In front of the most singular gulf of the world, this factory has risen up in respect of the beauty of the places and so that this beauty could be a comfort during the daily work” with this sentence Adriano Olivetti inaugurated the Pozzuoli factory in 1955. Cosenza, in collaboration with Adriano Galli, Pietro Ciaravolo, Piero Porcinai, and Marcello Nizzoli, had created a unique example of industrial architecture with beautiful and functional environments that fully respect the surrounding landscape and that employed 1,300 workers on an area of 30,000 sqm. The building was designed to convey as much natural light as possible and thus create work rooms with a bright, sunny atmosphere without walls but with glass windows, from which workers could refresh their sight on one of the most beautiful gulfs in the world. The beautiful production complex immersed in a green area also included a Mechanical Training Center, an experimental laboratory, a canteen, a library, spaces for rest, a pond, paths, deckchairs for the lunch hour, and a nearby housing quarter
As reported by Laura Bercioux for La Voce di New York, the fact that “the factory of dreams, the factory of Adriano Olivetti” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site was commented by the Culture Councilor of Pozzuoli, Mariateresa Moccia Di Fraia with these words: “It is with pride that we participate in the award of World Heritage Site to Olivetti of Ivrea. Firstly, because Italy, already so rich in many UNESCO Sites of considerable historical interest, promotes for the first time an industrial archeology complex, structures that include 19th-century buildings, others from the middle of the last century, and the church of San Bernardino, very precious for its 15th-century frescoes. Secondly, because the brilliant enterprise of Adriano Olivetti links Ivrea to Pozzuoli. The former Phlegraean Factory remains an unparalleled architectural gem, as well as a reality of companies and institutes of technological excellence in science: we work with joint projects to develop the Olivetti cities, in the sense of community and hospitality that still characterizes the Olivetti heritage.”
Ilona Catani Scarlett