Museo Lavazza is a sensory journey through global coffee culture, explored through the 120 year story of the Lavazza family and their continued education across five generations. Michael Grubb Studio provide lighting design for the exhibition –with multi-award winning exhibition designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) to create a series of highly immersive and emotive experiences.
The journey begins with a homely welcome into the 19th century roots of the Lavazza brand, followed by the fascinating production process, where visitors can smell, touch and taste the alchemy of coffee production ‘from bean to cup’, the rituals and traditions of coffee making, and the fabulous creative collaborations which make Lavazza culturally distinct. The dramatic crescendo of the Museo journey is a celebration of the Lavazza ‘Universe’, a seven metre-high, immersion installation which allows visitors to transcend into a dreamlike ‘cloud’ space – a fantasy world of Lavazza’s imagination and creativity which celebrates the sensory stimulation of coffee Museo Lavazza has five galleries, or ‘worlds’,each with its own style and theme:
Casa Lavazza – this cosy and evocative gallery lays out the main milestones in over 120 years of company history, starting with the first promissory note signed by 1960s-style Italian piazza, set within a light-filled space with neon signs, interactive coffee tables and the stylish Autobar – a stunning orange van used to share and promote Lavazza around Italy during the 1960s.
L’Atelier – is reminiscent of a photographic studio – bright, white and richly decorated with beautiful, bold and provocative images documenting 60 years of Lavazza’s creative collaborations with renowned artists and designers, and over 20 years of Lavazza’s infamous Luigi Lavazza. An elegant and richly illustrated timeline spans the length of the gallery, while in the light-filled centre visitors can relax and explore a metaphorical recreation of the first ‘drogheria’ (meaning grocery store) used by Luigi Lavazza at the beginning of the brand’s history.
La Fabbrica – is dedicated to the process of growing, blending, roasting and packaging Lavazza’s distinctive coffee. The long, narrow space perfectly evokes a production line, with large-scale graphics showing on one side the linear production process, and on the other the dedication and expertise of Lavazza’s employees at each stage of the process. A long interactive table runs through the centre, containing beautifully-lit tools and equipment, interactive touch tables, and sensory devices for visitors to smell the aroma of coffee plant flowers, touch raw coffee beans and to feel and smell the fine grain of fresh ground coffee.
La Piazza – is an iconic celebration of the coffee rituals which unite us all. Displays of historic espresso machines lead chronologically to the first coffee drunk in orbit aboard the International Space Station, thanks to the first espresso capsule machine designed for use in space. Media installations explore Coffee Design, a Lavazza project through which renowned chefs develop new coffee-based food products with innovative formats. The gallery concludes with an evocation of a calendars. The gallery also showcases the most popular Lavazza advertising campaigns throughout the company’s history: ‘Caballero e Carmencita’, ‘Paradiso’ and other campaigns. Original props are displayed within setworks that recreate the film sets and backstages of the advertising campaigns, while visitors are invited to take a picture of themselves with the famous characters and props.
L’Universo – is an ethereal and immersive 360-degree multimedia space that engulfs visitors in clouds and a boundless midnight blue sky. In the centre of the space an interactive touch-table invites visitors to place their Lavazza cup down, collect and share digital information and memories of their experience, and trigger profound and emotional films to swirl around them, projected onto a permeable ‘curtain’, with emotive and playful sound tracks amplifying the experience.
Museo Lavazza resides within the company’s new headquarters in Turin, designed by Cino Zucchi Architects. Named Nuvola (meaning ‘cloud’ in Italian) Lavazza, the 30,000m2 complex has been designed to serve the employees, facilitate workflows and keep the Turin headquarters increasingly connected with the over 90 countries where the company operates.
Opening alongside the Museo is the Condividere, a Michelin-starred restaurant offering a shared taste and coffee experience, designed by renowned Italian set designer and 3-time Oscar winner, artist and art director, Dante Ferretti.