Gucci Opens their Doors to their Archive Collection at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence

Gucci Opens their Doors to their Archive Collection at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence

Gucci Opens their Doors to their Archive Collection at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence

Gucci celebrated their 100th anniversary by opening the new home to their archive collection

Gucci celebrated their 100th anniversary by opening the new home to their archive collection

Text: Greg Marku

Gucci has opened the new home of their archive in Via delle Caldaie in Florence as a part of their 100th-anniversary celebrations. Open as of July 1, the archive is housed in Palazzo Settimanni in the Santo Spirito neighborhood that has a history reaching back to the 15th century rich with artisans and artists.

The palace has been refurbished and designed by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, being restored to its original character after many additions, splits, and partitions. 

“You pass through it, air gets in, you can walk through it as if it were a journey. I’m porous, absorbent, permeable”, explains Michele in a press release. “I have restored to the Palazzo a fairy-tale aura which, for instance, allows the small entrance hall to become a gateway to a dream dimension. I envisaged it as a sort of secret place within the House, an inner sanctum from where one sets out for Gucci's holy lands”.

Across the five floors, which include the ground floor and the basement, all the structures accumulated in recent times have been stripped away to reveal vestiges of 19th century decorations, 18th century trompe l'oeil, late 17th century frescoes and even earlier ornamentation.

The archive is divided into themed rooms named after Alessandro Michele’s lexicon, the basement is divided into three halls, Radura (porcelain and household items), Herbarium (stationery), and Maison de L'Amour (leisure items).

The ground floor houses collections of vintage handbags (Hortus Deliciarum hall), small leather goods and vintage belts (Prato di Ganimede hall – the field of Ganymede), an exhibition room (Swan hall), vintage and contemporary jewellery (Le Marché des Merveilles hall) and vintage luggage (1921 Rifondazione hall).

Textile creations including scarves, dresses, and footwear are located on the first floor, where the space is divided into rooms with evocative names such as Orto di Giove (Jupiter's garden), The Alchemist's Garden, Serapis, and Aveugle par Amour, to name but a few. Lastly, on the second floor, we find the Façonnier des Rêves hall.

There is also a well that showcases styles that have maintained their design codes intact such as the Bamboo bag or the Jackie. In the adjacent jewellery room houses vintage items as well as contemporary collections as well as lifestyle accessories with pieces spanning from sixty to seventy years old.

Only an extraordinary palace can be the archive site and home to Gucci pieces since it acts as a bridge between different cultural and historical time periods, displaying separately two pieces of evidence of Florence's past as well as its present.

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