30 Years Blu Factory

In the Italian Motor Valley, near Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati headquarters, is located the building that between 1990 and 1995 was the state-of-the-art Factory in which has been created a fast dream called Bugatti EB110 (and EB110 SS). The structure known as “Fabbrica Blu” has been conceived by Benedini & Partners architecture studio, who was commissioned by Romano Artioli (Italian entrepreneur and owner of the Bugatti brand since 1987) to built a futuristic headquarter from which would come out the fastest car in the world. That building which stands on the edge of the highway was supposed to be a workplace of excellence with a harmonious atmosphere which adopted sophisticated and avant-garde architectural solution surrounded by a vast green area around.
The Blu Factory has been inaugurated in 1990 (ceremony attended also by Ferruccio Lamborghini) with a “rally” from Molsheim gathering more than 50 pre-war Bugatti and a meeting at Campogalliano during the day of the 109th Anniversary from the birth of Ettore Bugatti – 15 September 1881. The Italian adventure of the brand founded in Molsheim in 1909 by Ettore Bugatti (Milanese migrated to France at a young age), originated in 1987, when the entrepreneur Romano Artioli took over the car company that had dominated the races in the 20s, but stopped its production so far in the 60s. Artioli’s intent with the acquisition of Bugatti was to return to build a modern supercar worthy of that name, unique for its technical and aesthetic content. He did it by bringing together the best team of engineers and designers who developed the EB110, a supercar featuring an all-carbon frame powered by a V12 engine with four(!) turbochargers supplying power of about 560hp, five valves per cylinder and All Wheel Drive: a masterpiece of technique and engineering.
In five years of activity about 96 Bugatti EB110 GT were produced, together with 32 SuperSport (EB110 SS), configuration that brought the power to 610hp. At the 1993 Geneva Auto Show, was unveiled a prototype called EB112 with lines that should have recalled iconic models such as the Atlantic (Type 57) and Royale (Type 41). The production of this mammoth four-door limousine should have started in 1995, just when the bankruptcy of Bugatti was declared and the plants have been closed by bailiffs: the EB112 remained just prototype. Then Bugatti brand was purchased by Volkswagen Group in 1998 – after three years of inactivity -and the production of the new models was brought back to France, in Molsheim, where Ettore Bugatti’s Factory was originally located.
Today are celebrated 30 years since the inauguration of the Factory which, thanks to Ezio Pavesi and his son Enrico, never falls to abandonment state and is “open” to fans who come every year to visit the Blue Factory from all over the world. The event held yesterday get together several Bugatti from a different age, included the latest evolution of the Chiron, called 110 in homage to the EB110. Attended the event also Romano Artioli who said “I wanted to perpetuate the work of Ettore Bugatti in the name of innovation. This is not a Factory but a tool to achieve extraordinary things”. Was present also the current Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann who praised the passion and care for every detail that can still be found inside the building today.
Since the Bugatti Automobili S.p.A was declared bankrupt in 1995, the Factory that housed the EB110 development and production has been taken care of by Ezio Pavesi, the caretaker who has been working there since 1990 and today, with his son Enrico, organize tours and events to keep alive the factory’s soul. The exterior architecture is designed to be watched from the cars passing by on the A22 – Brennero highway – and create a dialogue between Factory and freeway: idea then resumed later with the Kilometro Rosso building, a technological research centre that runs along the A4 (Torino-Trieste). A large parallelepiped painted in blue, Blue Royale to be exact, as the Bugatti livery – variant of the Bleu de France, color traditionally used to represent France in racing. It remains a testimony of industrial architecture of the late twentieth century which we hope will become a landmark for the Automotive world again.


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