"Guided by Cristina and driven by the desire to see the family company wade into new waters, the Brioni brothers relaunched their signature terracotta at 2017’s Salone del Mobile, presenting Celestino’s “Giardino all’Italiana” collection of flooring and tiles referencing the geometries and graphics of Renaissance gardens. Conceived as a product study, the collection came together between Cristina’s visionary designs and the Brioni brothers’ extraordinary craftsmanship, sparking two more collections over the next two years - drawing the attention and admiration of both industry experts and the press. 2018’s “Giardino delle delizie”, elaborated on the study of decorative garden elements, looking to fountains and caves for inspiration in outlining the forms of “Rocaille”, an award-winning mosaic composed of tightly knit shell textures. The following year, the creative collaboration picked up momentum, as their next collection went on to explore Lombard Baroque references in “Scenografica”. Placing the product within a narrative seems to be a key element in the creative language of Cristina Celestino, who invited us to visit the historic headquarters of the Fornace, where under her complete creative direction, a 20th-century building was renovated to host both the company’s offices and an expansive showroom.

“ When the brothers called me to collaborate, I already had experience working with ceramics, but never terracotta. My immediate goal was to exalt what was, for me, its strongest feature: a rustic and artisanal finish, while still pushing the material outside of its normal context. For me, the subtle effect between this traditional and materialistic element redesigned under a contemporary reading became the key to creating an interesting project. I found that the artisanal realm allowed me to experiment with my creativity more freely ” Cristina Celestino

It’s here, with her impeccable style, that the Friulian creative crafts one-of-a-kind pavements - the decorative heart and soul of her collaboration with Brioni - around atmospheres that exalt both their beauty and contemporary application. Playing with a palette of dusty colors across walls and custom furnishings, Cristina employs cold tones at the entrance, where floors in grey terracotta slats run towards baby blue walls, establishing a trait d’union with the warm shades that dominate throughout three exhibition halls. Here among the rich hues of dove-grey, ochre, earth, and eggplant, are a succession of Tivoli, Bibiena, and Capriccio floors designed by Cristina, their sinuous forms and hypnotic geometries alternating between the warm colors of traditional Lombard terracotta - multicolored, pink, mocha, and white - for a surprisingly scenographic effect. "

Words by Alice Salerni, Elle Decoration Uk, June 2020.

Design: Cristina Celestino
Development: Imma Pezzella
Photo credits: Valentina Sommariva
Words: Alice Salerni