Architetto Fiorenzo Valbonesi

Architetto Fiorenzo Valbonesi

Fiorenzo Valbonesi was born in Santa Sofia di Romagna, the Tuscan-Romagna, in 1952. He owes his attention to detail and his passion for art to his photographer father, and to Walter Ferri, his high school teacher and later his mentor, he owes his curiosity and interest in the world of architecture.
He graduated with honors from the Faculty of Architecture in Florence in 1977 with a degree in Urban Planning dedicated to building renovation and design assumptions of the neighborhood Valdoca in the historic center of Cesena. The following year he passed the qualifying examination and has since duly registered with the Institute  of Architects in the province of Forlì-Cesena.
Between 1974 and 1979, he was mainly engaged in research in the field of urban planning, involved with preliminary investigations for the zoning of Historic Places in Cervia (RA), Cesena (FC), and Sansepolcro (AR).

From 1980 to 1990 he collaborated with the architect Gilberto Orioli, working on various projects from renovations to furniture design, including the prestigious competition for the reorganization of the stadium "Dino Manuzzi" in Cesena in conjunction with CSPE-Florence (Felli, Andreucci, Dal Nord) and GPF Architects- Forli (Engineer Vincenzo Collina). During that same period, he devoted himself personally to a number of projects in the field of preservation and restoration of historic buildings in the province of Forlì-Cesena, as well as the design and construction of  both public and private residential buildings, office complexes, museums and hotels.

 In 1984, during the design of the modern art gallery "Vero Stoppioni" in St. Sofia, he met Mattia Moreni, a well known master of informal painting. An intense relationship of friendship and intellectual exchange continued until the artist’s death  in 1999. This friendship encouraged the design and extension of  an art gallery, that unfortunately remains unbuilt. Moreni’s influence enriched Valbonesi’s initial passion for the tension that exists between the continuous research and the capacity to implement ,in the profession of architecture that always requires a constant attention to detail. It is no coincidence that the artists impact on Valbonesi, to date, remains the most significant and decisive of all.

1990 marks the first major milestone in the professional career of  Fiorenzo Valbonesi, as he founds the architectural practice ASV3 in Cesena. This decision responded to a strong need in the sharing and realisation of a dream; to rethink architecture as a basic element of social life as the marriage between mind and matter centred around human life, while continuously searching for quality and beauty. Prinicples, such as remaining faithful to the ethics of the trade become in a certain sense, the line of structural coherence of ASV3.

Over the years, the design themes have been numerous and diverse, ranging from restoration to the design of new structures, furniture and industrial design.

The latter, mainly dedicated to the field of lighting, has allowed Valbonesi to develop projects for national and international companies including Andromeda, Mareco Luce, CRAB, Logic, ONOluce, but  it is the collaboration with Sirrah that has offered him the opportunity to meet with Dino Gavina, KazuideTakahama and many other major designers, expanding on an already extensive network of design professionals with whom he exchanges professional and intellectual knowledge.

Other than his personal mentors, one can also consider his indirect teachers; Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa, to which the architecture of Valbonesi constantly refers. Their assimilated works reveal a double soul, organic and rationalist, showing a general indifference to the language of the latest fashions but the need to refer to a formal heritage, modernity, in which the same organicism is flanked by a rational component. Thus, while Le Corbusier’s way of conceiving architecture as a fundamental element of social life, Carlo Scarpa’s obsession to detail and sense of space, Aalto whose work is a synthesis of elegance and functionality; decoration and functionality never split from life and the culture of a place, this is the first major reference evident in the architecture of Valbonesi. 

The nineties saw Valbonesi return to the Faculty of Architecture in Florence, as the role of teacher, first teaching technology, then the economic evaluation of projects and finally industrial design. Valbonesi experienced teaching as a real and tangible transfer of knowledge of  the trade and  this permeated his professional practice. The transmission of knowledge in a horizontal manner, meant that this was an open and sincere dialogue that lasted even once his experience was completed. 

In that period, ASV3 grew exponentially, through the numerous collaborations and projects not only limited to the Romagna region but all over Italy. However the real turning point came in 2000, when he was sought to design the Campodelsole Wine Cellars, a new winemaking facility nestled in the countryside of the historic village of Bertinoro. Thanks to Campodelsole, Valbonesi came into contact with the world of wine production. 

Large and small producers  alike understand the importance of the quality of the product as well as the image of the cellars. The design of  a wine cellar, is not only a place where grapes are transformed into wine, it is an opportunity to reflect on the functionality of a production building and the architectural form, the integration between the natural landscape and the built environment, and finally the role of communication. It need to be both a functional space that works well and is safe. It must also invite the public for tastings and through its architecture communicate the quality of the wines that are produced within, respecting the cuultural context and environment as if it were born and not built.

This is the philosphy of Fiorenzo Valbonesi and his practice, which now sees the collaboration and contribution of some young and capable architects: Giovanni Pulelli, Stefano Turroni, William Meli and Agnese Valbonesi. 

In the numerous projects of wineries, most of which have been built or are under construction, involve an in-depth study of the environment. The natural landscape in which these wineries are built are considered as an essential element. It is not dominated, neither hidden with signs of mere architectural stylized excercises, but is celebrated through respect, exalting it, as in the process of wine making. The project is undertaken with the parties involved; the winemaker that specifies the technical requirements and the client that conveys his experience and dreams. It captures the desire to make an architecture that communicates as a product, wine and its history, through the transmition of quality, beauty, technological innovation and attention to detail, the link between content and container. 

The quest for quality is pursued in every project, be it a wine cellar, a residence or an urban regeneration project. The foundation of this profession is the search of innovative formal and technological solutions that are always closely linked to the natural environment, both human and historical. There is a fundamental responsibility to strive to improve the quality of today’s architecture through  this continual formal and technological research.

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