TAIBON AGORDINO, Italy—On October 13, Blackfin celebrated its 50th anniversary with the opening of its new Black Shelter headquarters, a building that nearly triples the space in its existing Taibon Agordino location, surrounded by the Belluno Dolomite mountains. The new headquarters is a further expansion of the original building, which was renovated in 2016. Today, it houses about 100 employees between offices and production. Everything is done in-house, which Blackfin says more than doubles the production area to cope with growing market demand.

Black Shelter is the first in the Veneto region of Italy to be certified as a Casa Clima Work & Life structure, certified to meet the three pillars of sustainability: ecological, economic and socio-cultural.

Anidride Design architects Nicola De Pellegrini and Giovanni Bez designed Black Shelter, constructing a 5-story building that merges seamlessly with the existing structure. The building’s roof replicates the silhouette of the surrounding Dolomites, and hexagonal cutouts in the aluminum sheeting along the roof and sides 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 as flooring for the panoramic patio.

Blackfin held a celebratory event at Black Shelter on October 13, with local and regional authorities, Blackfin artisans and employees, and friends of the company in attendance. CEO Nicola Del Din, CFO Giancarlo Recchia participated in the ceremony and were accompanied by Maria Luisa Pramaor, who opened Blackfin as a small artisan eyewear finishing workshop in 1971. 

Paolo Nespoli, ESA astronaut and friend of Blackfin, was the honored guest of the event. Blackfin crafted the frames used in orbit for scientific tests on his last mission to the International Space Station in 2017.

Recchia said, “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.”

Del Din said, “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.”

Villa Eyewear distributes Blackfin in the U.S.