Valerio Rivellini Engineering & Design moves to a new home in the prestigious Palazzo Berlingeri, in one the liveliest and most exclusive areas of Naples.
The new offices have a spectacular view of the sea, with interior design and decoration by Rivellini that fully respects the Palazzo’s history by combining classic materials that pay tribute to tradition and other more modern ones reflecting the designer's unmistakable minimalist approach.
The studio founded by Valerio Rivellini in 2009 works on an increasingly rich and varied range of projects commissioned by very different brands in terms of their target, type and size: from Italmarine and Gozzi Mimì, through to Blu Emme Yachts and the more recent partnership with Vertus Yachts. The engineer and designer appointed as “The One to Watch” by prestigious US magazine Robb Report in its latest Best of the Best Awards, has also earned a reputation for designing ultra-innovative concepts, such as the 56-metre Extended Explorer, a military-inspired luxury superyacht. In parallel with the increase in commissions, creative cues and ideas, the team of collaborators has also grown and now consists of six people, including architects, designers and engineers, creating the need to move the business to more spacious and functional offices.
After extensive research, the engineering and design studio found the ideal location in Viale Gramsci, one of Naples’ most interesting and lively areas and home to historic buildings such as the elegant neo-Renaissance style Palazzo Berlingeri. This exclusive building designed in 1800 is the location of the firm’s new offices, with over 100 square metres overlooking the sea, a design that puts the accent on clean lines, and a careful selection of simple but refined objects.
“I wanted to create a space that combines elegance and practicality, as I do with the boat designs I work on every day. That is why apparently elementary solutions in the new offices conceal fundamental functions, such the paintings that double-up as screens linked together for video conferencing. The meeting room has sliding steel and glass doors that can be obscured for maximum privacy or transformed into 4K monitors, while the walls with floor-to-ceiling bookcases conceal entrances to the service areas.
I have designed a minimal space that at first glance looks uncluttered and even empty, but in fact offers everything necessary and makes sure it is within easy reach. The sea view, finally, is more than just a detail, because it represents an invaluable source of inspiration for my whole team,” said Rivellini.
Another basic premise of the project was the desire to keep the Palazzo’s legacy intact: “We didn’t touch the main walls and the ceilings and have painstakingly reproduced many original details. Take the floor, for example. It would have been easy to choose parquet or a modern cement or resin coating, but when the existing wood floor was removed I found 19th century tiles, so I decided to restore the original, resulting in a truly unique effect that doesn’t look old at all.
With the same intention, in the entry area I chose hand-planed wooden planks of differing sizes to make it look like they were laid in the 19th century.
I also tried to devise solutions that combine the antique and the modern: the natural marble desks, echoing the history of the building’s architecture, are connected to the floor by two custom feet made using the same technique as on boats (working on a 3D model before producing the mould), creating a ‘floating’ effect. For my own desk I chose a block of gold Calacatta marble, built into the load-bearing walls and fully suspended above the floor, and for the others black Marquinia, whose elegance never goes out of fashion. The window shutters and door frames were restored and rebuilt using the existing wood out of respect for the location.
I believe the new office is the culmination of a design process that fills me with pride and at the same time is the perfect harbinger of further growth, involving new brands and projects I hope to unveil at the upcoming boat shows,” concluded Rivellini.