Dozens of slender jugs await to be decorated in the Ceramica Artistica Solimene factory, in Vietri sul Mare. They seem to sit under the forest of reinforced concrete pillars, like perplexed white ceramic geese.
The factory was designed by Paolo Soleri, who years ago came up with the term “arcology” to express the union of “architecture” and “ecology”: an environmental view on urban spaces, which aims to contrast the constant growth of today’s megalopolises at the expense of rural territories.
The Turin-born architect was entrusted with the project for this building by Vincenzo Solimene, an active craftsman in Vietri sul Mare since 1947. Since 1954 the spectacular façade he created – somewhat reminiscent of Gaudí architecture, covered in unfinished and green enamel vases – has overlooked the Amalfi Coast and its gulf.
Inside, a plethora of ceramics artifacts have been produced for over half a century, many of them as one-off or limited-series creations in collaboration with international designers, architects and artists.
In just a few days those jugs will trade white for the beauty of color, and will leave the concrete forest to travel the world.