22 October 2021
Guest of honor, astronaut Paolo Nespoli, engaged attendees in a journey to outer space through shared concepts and values that are part of the company’s history.
Taibon Agordino (Belluno) - 1971-2021: Blackfin celebrates 50 years in business and the inauguration of its new Black Shelter headquarters ‒ a futuristic building that nearly triples the space in the existing Taibon Agordino location, surrounded by the Belluno Dolomite mountains.
This win-win was proudly celebrated by Blackfin during an event held October 13, with local and regional authorities, its skilled artisans, employees and friends of the company in attendance.
In addition to Nicola Del Din, CEO, and Giancarlo Recchia, CFO, also participating in the ceremony was Maria Luisa Pramaor who, in 1971, had the courage to open a small artisan eyewear finishing workshop, setting in motion what today is a firmly-established local business with turnover forecast to reach 12 million euro by the end of 2021.
A company whose history exudes consistency, confidence and tenacity, but was not spared hard times, and they peaked in 2007; that’s when Del Din met Giancarlo Recchia, who believed in him and in his entrepreneurial vision.
“Today, we are celebrating madness,” began Del Din, in his words to the guests, “the madness many credited us with for deciding to build our headquarters here, on this spot, and the madness of Giancarlo for deciding to believe in this company that, in the opinion of many, seemed on the brink of financial ruin.”
Recchia echoed those sentiments, “Even with the initial difficulties, our enthusiasm never failed; we looked for it even in the smallest daily activities in order to then share it with all of our staff. Staff, I say, and not ‘’employees’ because I have always believed that we, as owners/employers, are dependent on their work. We are specifically committed to continuing in this direction with the same passion and enthusiasm that have always been our trademark. Today, these 50 years and this new headquarters are not a milestone but rather mark the strengthening of a company that is valuable to the local economy and the point of departure for an exciting new challenge focused on excellence – a word that is often applied to us, that we feel we deserve and that we are proud of.”
The new headquarters, named Black Shelter, is a further expansion of the original building, which was renovated in 2016. Today, it houses about 100 employees, between offices and production, where everything is done in-house, more than doubling the production area to cope with growing market demand. This headquarters is not just a “container” in which titanium eyewear is made, but rather “contents”, intended as the physical and architectural manifestation of the values of culture, innovation, respect for people and the land that the company embodies in the expression: neomadeinitaly. The building itself is a true green facility, the first in the Veneto region to be certified as a KlimaHaus Work & Life structure, certified to meet the three pillars of sustainability – ecological, economic and socio-cultural – in other words, workplace wellbeing.
The Black Shelter design by Anidride Design architects Nicola De Pellegrini and Giovanni Bez, symbolizes the desire to create an architectural workplace that becomes the best setting in which to continue the company’s journey of excellence. The design concept took advantage of the tiny footprint available by going up, constructing a 5-story building that merges seamlessly with the existing structure ‒ an architectural and historical continuum that takes into account evolution, an extension of the company’s manufacturing genetics. The shape is monolithic, the roof’s skyline replicates the silhouette of the surrounding Dolomites, the facades are clad in aluminum sheet painted black, as is the roof. Hexagonal cutouts in the aluminum sheeting allow the underlying structure to be visible from certain viewing angles. The relationship with the mountains is reflected in the large windows whose glass changes color with the changing of the seasons. The exposed aggregate concrete is made with aggregate material from the Cordevole Stream that flows about 20 meters from the building. Larch from the forests nearby was used to clad the entire “room of silence” and as flooring – along with grass – for the panoramic patio.
“For all intents and purposes, the building is a declaration of love to our past, our people and their exemplary skills. But it is also a vision statement for the many projects and goals we still dream of achieving,” remarked Del Din.
Honored guest of the event was Paolo Nespoli, famous ESA astronaut and friend of Blackfin. Nespoli engaged attendees in an exciting account of his personal experience of outer space, expressed through the concepts and values he associates with the history of Blackfin – the determination to achieve one’s objectives despite difficulties, a sensitivity to and respect for the environment and for the planet in general, the value of Italian excellence that he represents and to which the company constantly aspires. And, lastly, the working relationship between Blackfin and Paolo Nespoli – Blackfin crafted the frames used in orbit for scientific tests on his last mission to the International Space Station in 2017