Made-to-Measure Kitchenmaker Officine Gullo Opens a Showrooom in a Renaissance Chapel in Florence

When an altar becomes a kitchen island.

Italy has no shortage of churches—more than 100,000, according to some sources. In Florence, Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti, located in the piazza of the same name, is a legendary place in Catholic culture. This baroque church is the burial place of the Birth of Venus painter Sandro Botticelli, explorer Amerigo Vespucci, and Caroline Bonaparte Murat, Napolean’s younger sister. Mozart is said to have played the church’s organ when visiting the city with his father in the late 18th century, and there are numerous important Renaissance works inside, including the brilliant blue crucifix by Giotto. In the adjacent deconsecrated chapel is the showroom of Officine Gullo, the Florentine kitchen maker that has transformed altar to kitchen island.

 

 

 

The renovation was led by Milanese studio SuperSpatial who focused on complementing the sacred location with the contemporary. The state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen includes an island, two ovens, multiple gas burners, pasta maker, wine fridge, purpose-built espresso machine, and nearly every other imaginable kitchen accoutrement. The Officine Gullo aesthetic is distinctive, yet each creation is bespoke and crafted from materials like steel, cast iron, burnished copper, and bronze—in this context, a marriage of modern and millennia old. The display kitchen is fully functional and much more than just an exhibition space. “This is a place we come to break bread and be immersed in Florentine tradition,” says Andrea Gullo, who, along with his brothers and father, hosts private events for their international clientele in the showroom. “The space has become a place of social gathering, to share in the conviviality of life.” A secret passageway leads to the church itself for unrestricted access to its historic and artistic treasures.

Whether dining at the chef’s table, taking part in Italy’s predinner ritual of apericena, or simply passing by and entering to view the showroom, Officine Gullo House gives new meaning to place of worship.

 

 

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