Coffee has always been synonymous with socialising, as have the various establishments where it is served — indeed, they are seen by many as the earliest form of social networks.
Lavazza has always been present in these centres of coffee culture since its very beginning, and has promoted many significant events both in Italy and abroad over the course of its history.
Today, emboldened by the experience it has gained over time hosting major events, the Lavazza Group continues to pursue international partnerships in the fields of culture, sport, and haute cuisine. Moreover, its Nuvola headquarters, which were designed as a hub of ideas, offers high-quality, one-of-a-kind experiences of cultural, artistic and culinary nature to all its guests and visitors.
The Lavazza Museum and Historical Archive
The Museum, conceived as a place to display over 120 years of Lavazza history, sprawls over more than 1,100 square metres. It is divided into themed areas designed with a multimedia approach by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, one of the world’s leading architectural studios in the field of corporate museum design.
A special espresso cup acts as an interactive digital tool to guide visitors along the itinerary, for a journey through global coffee culture that engages the senses and the emotions, by activating the installations found in the museum’s five different galleries: Casa Lavazza is dedicated to the history of the company; the Fabbrica describes the processes involved in coffee production; the Piazza celebrates the ritual of espresso coffee through iconic items, ranging from its very origins to the first coffee machine designed for space; the Atelier retraces the artistic and creative collaborations that have marked the history of the Lavazza brand; and finally, the Universo consists of an immersive, 360-degree projection ending in a Coffee Experience, dedicated to telling the tale of coffee consumption, this time through the sense of taste. It does so through a guided tasting experience that takes in the main extraction techniques and the innovative coffee design recipes from the Lavazza Training Center.
The Museum’s narrative is in constant dialogue with the collection of documents of the Historical Archive, through the organisation of temporary exhibits, conventions, digital content and printed publications. The fruit of painstaking record-combing and cataloguing, the Historical Archive safeguards the history of the company in documents; preserving its collection of patents, its advertising campaigns, and the evolution of its products. This recently digitised wealth of information, consisting of thousands of images, texts and videos, is made available to students, coffee-lovers and all departments of the company, who can turn to it to draw inspiration from past production when planning future developments.
The exhibition is further enhanced by educational workshops for schools and exclusive guided tours for groups, with themed content centred around coffee culture, sustainability, the history of communication in Lavazza, and the archaeological area, a journey of historical discovery through the remains of the early Christian Basilica di San Secondo, discovered during excavations for the construction of Nuvola.
La Centrale, an imposing venue of 4,500 square metres set in the surroundings of the Aurora district’s former power plant, is a vast, multi-functional space that hosts a Convention Centre, an Event Area, Michelin-starred restaurant Condividere and a Bistrot for collective dining.
The restoration project on this site preserved its original structure, which dates back to 1897, embracing the glorious industrial architecture of that era, epitomised by the immense wrought iron window panels that look out on the district and make this former factory a symbol of the city’s cultural dynamism.
The Events Area can hold up to 1,000 people, while the independent structure on the upper floor is home to a Convention Centre, offering further 200 seats.
The spaces within La Centrale have been designed to play host to high-profile events of various natures. Just to give a few examples of events that have been held here: a concert by the Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino; a lecture by Isabel Allende; modern art exhibitions; debates among leaders in the Italian business world; and various special occasions in connection with major events held in the region. La Centrale has also provided the setting for world premieres: after depicting Lavazza’s dedication to social causes through his images, photographer Steve McCurry chose this as the venue for the launch of his biography, in which he recounts his forty-year career.
The Condividere restaurant, headed by Michelin-starred chef Federico Zanasi, offers his signature cuisine in an environment that is both sophisticated and informal, inspired by the Spanish and Mediterranean concept of sharing food, but with a strong Italian mark.
The project is the culmination of excellence in a variety of fields: the interior design is the work of Oscar-winning art director Dante Ferretti; while the concept is the brainchild of multi-award-winning chef and food philosopher, Ferran Adrià, founder of the renowned Spanish restaurant, elBulli, and currently head of the elBulli Foundation.
These decisions are testament to Lavazza’s desire to bring the company’s flair for innovation to the restaurant.
The cuisine created by Modena-born chef Federico Zanasi, who places the quality of the ingredients above anything else and reinterprets traditional Italian dishes with a contemporary twist.
The menu, which invites guests to rediscover the innately convivial experience of dining, won the chef his first Michelin star in 2019.
The Bistrot is a collective dining area that is open to all. Located in the side wing of La Centrale, it serves both Lavazza employees and the general public. Its menus change daily, offering fresh, affordable dishes with an attention to offering the correct nutritional balance.
The area is divided into three island-restaurants: San Tommaso 10, street food in the Italian tradition; ¡Tierra!, natural cooking with tasty and wholesome recipes that include vegetarian options; and Murisengo, traditional Italian and Piedmontese food. When coming up with the concept for the Bistrot, Lavazza also collaborated with Slow Food in choosing the areas and the raw materials used for the menus.
San Tommaso Restaurant
The San Tommaso Restaurant-Café, a city landmark in terms of the history and quality of Lavazza, is located in the historic heart of Turin; in the very same premises where Luigi Lavazza, the Group’s founder, began his business at the end of the 19th century.
The establishment, which has always been a top destination for high-quality food and shared dining experiences, pairs typical recipes from Italian tradition with a refined coffee selection from all over the world.
It is currently undergoing renovations, and will re-open with an approach that retains its welcoming atmosphere, an expression of Piedmontese tradition, reinterpreted with a new concept.