85 years of excellence
made in Italy
Founded in 1938 by Angelo Ghirardi (1893-1958) together with his son Renato (1922-1983), the Carpenedolo (Brescia) company is now in its third generation and eighty-five years old. It is precisely the family dimension that is the soul that distinguishes the entire history of Marmi Ghirardi, which began in an area that has been devoted to working natural stone for centuries. The beginnings are those of a small business in the tombstone sector; but already with the brothers Rinaldo (1933) and Franco (1938), the entrepreneurial leap took place. Thanks to their artistic inclination and their grounding in the disciplines of drawing and sculptural ornamentation, the Ghirardi brothers developed outstanding skills and matured their personal aptitudes. For both of them, the chisel, hammer and bush on the workbench hold no secrets. The company grew with determination, pride and great craftsmanship.
While the post-war years involved Marmi Ghirardi in reconstruction building, the first foreign orders loomed up. In the period 1950-1960 the business went beyond the national sphere and discovered new markets in Germany, Austria, Holland, France and England. Technical specialisation increased, but manual skill remained firmly anchored in Italian aesthetic values. After twenty years mainly dedicated to funerary art and granite processing, the decades 1980 and 1990 coincide with a decisive turning point: now the company’s challenge is directed towards quality architecture, interior design and the realisation of important hotel structures. The exclusivity of some of the world’s finest natural stones (Breccia Marina Blu and Breccia Antica Gold marbles, Nero Assoluto Gh granite and Bs Beige stones), the supply of the best materials (marble, granite, onyx, limestone, travertine, porphyry, natural stone, quartzite and slate), their careful treatment and impeccable laying become the hallmark of the business.
Today, Marmi Ghirardi’s profile is effectively international. And how can the legacy of the past be reconciled with the thrust of globalisation? Even within increasingly broader horizons, the Chairman of the Board of Directors Stefano Ghirardi (1969), together with his siblings Giuliano (1970), Anna (1971) and Daniele (1972), Franco’s children, maintain a strong attachment to the original commitment, which in the meantime has become a guarantee for the expectations of clients and designers. This is testified by an exceptional series of works scattered across the United States, Arab countries, the Far East and major European cities. The deepest identity spirit, imbued with the highest competence and a marked sensitivity to the nature of materials, never ceases to pulsate in the heart of the company.
Since 2017, Marmi Ghirardi has also been operating in the United States under its own brand Ghirardi 1938 – Italian Stone Maestro. The intention is to occupy a very specific market segment: high-end, high-value luxury, where product excellence and executive refinement represent the very emblem of Italian style. The Made in Italy image is synonymous with elegance and perfect execution, and is above all the fruit of a millenary aesthetic tradition. This is one of the reasons why Marmi Ghirardi maintains a lively dialogue with internationally renowned architects, designers and artists.
The special interest in the world of plastic arts has given rise and continuity to collaboration with some of the most important contemporary masters, such as Anish Kapoor and Mimmo Paladino. The execution of sculptures that have become iconic – such as the Mirrors and Parabolas by the Anglo-Indian artist, or the monumental stele designed by Paladino for Piazza Vittoria in Brescia – has been carried out in the company’s workshops with the care and professionalism that distinguish it.
The encounter between artistic flair and the application of manual and technical skills is a source of new ideas and unprecedented stylistic developments. This is why Marmi Ghirardi also targets young interpreters of design and the visual arts, with the aim of supporting their talent and experimental inclinations, thus promoting the creativity of today and that projected towards the future.
Ghirardi has a strong bond with the earth, the territory and nature. Sustainability is at the heart of its vision and the company has adopted a path that promotes a green attitude and symbiosis with the environment and the people who live there.
One of its most recent commitments was to participate in the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) study, commissioned to the Turin Polytechnic University by the PNA network (of which Ghirardi is a founding member), to quantify the Co2 emissions per m2 of polished slabs produced.
This study made it possible to identify the impact on climate change in relation to other cladding materials.
Sustainability and the studies carried out in this area will be discussed in detail in the next issue of About Marble.
For Ghirardi, sustainability also means considering other dimensions, such as social and economic. Indeed, the company aims to promote the circularity of the production system to avoid waste and reduce the environmental impact of quarries. It also promotes gender equality and community cohesion.
It is with this spirit and full awareness that Ghirardi has decided to take on the challenge of sustainability, on the strength of our family tradition now in its third generation, and of the “savoir-faire” born of the excellence of made in Italy.
The company headquarters, inaugurated in 2017, highlights the landscaping detail with which it was designed. A system of grassy embankments and a row of tall trees create an evocative union between the industrial building and the hillside surroundings of Carpenedolo, preserved with the love and respect that the family has for its home town. Franco Ghirardi’s poetic sculptures dialogue with the exterior, emphasising the perception of the whole and the discovery of hidden glimpses.
The combination of professionalism and problem-solving skills, developed over a long experience and made possible by the in-house team together with a proven network of Italian and foreign collaborators, and above all by the important partnerships with the main operators in the sector, make Marmi Ghirardi the first “stone contractor” in Italy specialised in the realisation of natural stone projects of the highest quality. The company’s eighty-five years confirm and consolidate an entrepreneurial philosophy based on executive mastery, careful and continuous innovation of production processes, research and quality control. A milestone that finds in this special anniversary a further motivation for growth and development.
2023 is a particularly important year for Marmi Ghirardi as it reaches the precious milestone of 85 years of activity. Years in which as many as three generations of Ghirardi have succeeded one another, making the company one of the excellences of Made in Italy on international soil and the first “stone contractor” in Italy specialised in the creation of natural stone projects of the highest quality.
To celebrate the milestone reached, Marmi Ghirardi has in its program for 2023 a series of initiatives aimed at confirming and consolidating an entrepreneurial philosophy based on the quality and research of selected raw materials, careful and continuous innovation of production processes, executive mastery and family passion centred on craftsmanship, elements that have come together in the “G1938 – Italian Stone Maestro” brand.
Marmi Ghirardi’s uninterrupted vision and growth has been translated into a new logo, launched a few days ago, specially created to celebrate its eighty-fifth birthday. 85+ thus symbolises the company’s desire to continue to grow, to be present and to bring its quality and experience to the market for many years to come.
A vision that is based on the company’s decades-long history, so much so that Marmi Ghirardi decided to celebrate it by making a docufilm dedicated to the lives of brothers Franco and Rinaldo Ghirardi. Active proponents of the entrepreneurial leap made in the 1950s and 1960s, Franco and Rinaldo transformed the company into the international excellence we know today. The docufilm was premiered in Carpenedolo (Bs), the historical home of the Ghirardi family and the company, during a well-attended evening attended by employees with their families and local authorities.
First up, from 31st January to 2nd February, “The International Surface Event” in Las Vegas, the largest North American event in the floor coverings, natural stone and tile sector. A trade fair that has more than 30 editions and includes three world-class exhibitions “Surfaces”, “StonExpo” and “TileExpo”. A melting pot of buyers, sellers and specialists from all over the world, the fair was also a place to exchange opinions and inspiration in terms of design and the latest trends. On this occasion, Marmi Ghirardi received a certificate of gratitude for its participation in the fair from the NSI.
Then, from February 7 th.9, Marmi Ghirardi flew to London for the ‘Surface Design Show’, the UK’s leading event for architects and designers who want to explore the best of surface materials innovation and focus, in particular, on the world of the finest products used in interior and exterior architecture. More than 180 companies and organisations from all over the world exhibited at the fair.
The latest attendance was from the 18th to the 21st of February at ‘Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia’, one of the venues within ‘The big 5 Saudi’ and the Kingdom’s first show for industry experts from around the world completely dedicated to the Stone Industry. A collective exhibition showcase that welcomed an international line-up of top producers and an ideal place to increase networks, find inspiration and procure the latest products available in the industry.
An intense commitment to share, on an international level, Marmi Ghirardi’s 85 years of experience in this Made in Italy sector and the excellence that distinguishes the company in the processing of authentic natural stone.
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