Exploring industrial architecture in Prato



economia circolare, Event,

TIPO Prato is an initiative that promotes a new and exclusive travel experience, in places never before open to the public, to discover Europe’s largest textile district. An innovative way to bring architecture lovers and urban explorers closer to the Tuscan city’s rich history and industrial present.

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Exploring industrial architecture in Prato
Exploring cities is an activity that is enjoying growing popularity, as a compelling way – and above all at a low cost and with almost zero environmental impact – to learn more about the urban contexts in which we move, both habitually and as tourists. An interesting approach to territorial storytelling, as we can see in the case of the Tuscan city of Prato.
Known all over the world for its textile industry, in recent years Prato has been renewing itself with investments in production processes respectful of nature. Efforts that have made Prato the "City for circularity": a young, multicultural and multiethnic centre, committed for some time now to the themes of urban regeneration and ecological, circular and digital transition. A city also known for investing in urban regeneration, with interventions like the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci (Centre for Contemporary Art) which, in 2016, reopened its doors with the extension designed by architect Maurice Nio and the renovation of the original building designed by the rationalist architect Italo Gamberini. 
The project was conceived with the desire to enhance the soul, as well as the economic and cultural engine of the Prato area: its textile industry. The past, with its rich history, industrial archaeology and the connection with the development of the territory, but also the present, made up of large international companies that are leaders when it comes to the quality and variety of the product and an ecological and circular production process.
Thus, historical and avant-garde textile factories have opened their doors, for the first time, to anyone who appreciates industrial archaeology, architecture, fashion and design and to those who want to discover their secrets. TIPO is an immersive and experiential project designed for all those who want to discover the new frontier of tourism: the industrial one. An important milestone, as industrial tourism is making it possible for the public to experience, up close, the profound process of urban, social and cultural transformation projecting the city of Prato into a contemporary and international dimension.
Thanks to #TipoPrato, factories are telling their stories and, for the first time, the buildings, the territory, the traditions and the quality of Prato's textile manufacturing become a new product, open to tourism. As part of the initiative, following an initial experimental phase that began in September 2021 and that will continue until May 2022, every last weekend of the month, two days are dedicated to industrial tourism, with an event in a local factory. On Sundays, on the other hand, a tourist itinerary and a creative workshop will welcome visitors at the Museo del Tessuto (Textile Museum), the Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art and the Mumat / Museum of Textile Machines. The events are aimed at everyone, young and old.
#TipoPrato is promoted by the Municipality of Prato, the Museo del Tessuto, the Fondazione CDSE Centro di Documentazione Storico Etnografica, the Municipalities of Cantagallo, Carmignano, Poggio a Caiano, Montemurlo, Vaiano and Vernio, in collaboration with ACTE (European Textile Community Association), Visit Tuscany and Prato Turismo.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: TipoPrato
Location: Prato, Italy
Every last weekend of the month, find out more: www.tipo.prato.it
Images: courtesy of TipoPrato, see captions


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