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Interview. Outdoor Aesthetics in the Hotel Industry & Beyond with FAST

Interview. Outdoor Aesthetics in the Hotel Industry & Beyond with FAST
FAST during Salone del Mobile 2024. Courtesy of the company.

Inaugurated in 2022, FastLab is the expansion of the previous showroom in Roé Volciano (2017) by outdoor furniture brand FAST.

Located in Valle Sabbia, in the Italian province of Brescia, FAST was founded in 1995 by the Levrangi family, who have been at the helm of the company up to this day. FAST specializes in outdoor furniture for residential and commercial settings such as hotels, restaurants, shops, swimming pools, and country and golf clubs.  

“State-of-the-art technologies, in-house and centralized production, and the use of local suppliers all guarantee our ‘Made in Italy’ quality. Aluminum is our primary material, and our products are highly resistant to the elements while also being functional and with attention to detail,” Marco Levrangi, FAST’s CEO, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine. 

“The introduction of lean manufacturing approach [a type of management focused on cutting out waste while ensuring quality] has brought significant benefits to FAST, such as greater efficiency, better quality, and a more structured just-in-time service.”

Elegant and harmonious, the firm’s timeless design allows FAST’s collections to adapt to any style and setting. Also, the extensive range of finishes and upholstery options allows for endless customization possibilities.

FAST presented four new collections at the 2024 edition of Salone del Mobile and Milan Design Week (MDW): the Velo chair range by Alberto Lievore and collections Roè, Samba and Naca, by Francesco Meda and David Lopez Quincoces (the company’s new creative team). 

“Our products are sold internationally, and 80% of our turnover comes from abroad. So the Salone del Mobile is the most important moment of the year for us,” Levrangi explains. 

Apart from the fair, FAST is present in Milan also through its flagship store. Located in the Durini Design District, the store is managed in partnership with Spotti Milano and acquired a new layout for MDW 2024.

The FastLab: Respecting Sustainability Is a Must

FAST’s history mirrors Brescia’s great tradition in metalworking. Every collaborating international designer incorporates the firm’s values of ethics and sustainability in the collections. 

“For us, the need for sustainability was not a turning point, but rather a confirmation of a direction we have been following for some time. We work in an area that we love, respect, and help sustain. Our know-how has always been the processing of aluminum, a material that is weather resistant, lightweight, versatile and 100 % recyclable,” Levrangi explains.

This spirit is evident in FAST’s multi-functional space located in Roè Volciano. Very close to Lake Garda, it is called FastLab and was inaugurated in Autumn 2022. The space was formerly a cotton factory founded in 1882 on a site where previously there was a mill and a blacksmith’s shop. The renovation, carried out by Buzzi studio d’architettura in 2001, aimed to honor and respect that heritage as much as possible – so that on entering the 1700 m2 building today, there is still a feeling of being in a 19th-century factory. Through its high ceilings and large windows, the space benefits greatly from natural light, and as a result, the exhibited collections appear as if they had been displayed outside. In addition, the presence of plants and sounds of nature in the background make the environment even more inviting. The Barcelona studio Lievore Altherr designed the interiors.

Although representing an expansion of the firm’s previous showroom, FastLab is much more than an exhibition space. FAST defines it as “a real laboratory of ideas”, promoting educational meetings and creating opportunities for dialogue amongst designers. In addition, the space is open for the local community to enjoy various events and activities, conferences, workshops, and meetings for schools.

The FastLab is divided into four main areas: the actual exhibition area (where all collections are presented in a harmonious exchange between colors and fabrics), the sample room (where FAST’s materials – like fabrics, stoneware, ropes, carpets, and finishes – are displayed in maxi format and where it is possible to observe the different phases of aluminum processing), the break-out and dining area and a space for meetings and training.

“The cotton mill space used to house the dormitories of the factory workers, and the families who resided there created over the years a community within the community,” says Levrangi.

Reactivating this space was meaningful for the team at FAST and the whole area, and the team did this with a sense of responsibility. More than creating a new showroom, the team wanted to give back to Valle Sabbia what the valley has given to FAST.

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