La Casa Gandia Blasco

In 2011, the family decided to transform part of the old textile factory, located in Ontinyent, into La Casa Gandia Blasco, a
personal proposal beyond furniture, which invites a reflection on living and the role that design assumes in the configuration of the
world we inhabit and our relationships with people and objects. There reside José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales, President and Creative
Director of the group, Alejandra (Creative and Communications Deputy Director of the company, Creative Director of Diabla) and
Álvaro (Deputy Director and Commercial Director).

Weaving networks for female leadership in business

The ecstasy of dawn

Uterqüe, The play of light

La Casa Gandia Blasco. Houzz TV report

75 years of Gandia Blasco Group

IMAGE CREDITS
Photographer: © Héctor Campos
Magazine: FORBES Spain

Weaving networks for female leadership in business

Courage, equality and experience. The promotion of female talent is an essential part of the identity of Gandia Blasco Group.

 

In commitment to equity and diversity, we continue to strive to open up new paths that serve to promote the professional advancement and skills of women across the board in the company. For this reason, at Gandia Blasco Group and through the efforts of our firms we promote work in an environment in which all professionals can develop their careers regardless of their gender or personal context.

 

Let’s talk about figures: 49% of our team are women, a percentage that rises to 50% when we refer to management positions. Alejandra Gandía-Blasco, Deputy Creative and Communication Director of the Gandia Blasco Group and Creative Director of Diabla, and Mapi Millet, Creative Director of GAN, embody the relevance of female leadership in our company. A family business in whose evolution, growth and internationalisation women have played a key and strategic role.

 

It is a real luxury to have had the opportunity to talk about our corporate philosophy, this November, in the pages of the special edition of FORBES, a publication committed to female talent and which serves as a loudspeaker for women’s ability to lead growth and positive change in all areas of the company.

 

“GAN’s team is mainly made up of women. We have always had the power and independence to make decisions so that we do not make a special effort to achieve something that, fortunately, we already have. What we do try to do is to generate an energy of mutual support around us that allows all the women we work with to develop and continue to grow professionally, especially the most disadvantaged. This is why our project for the development of rural women in India, the GAN Women Unit, is so important to us.”

Mapi Millet

 

“The key to remaining a design reference, I believe, depends on the business philosophy, human capital, the personality of the person who manages the brands, the designers with whom you choose to collaborate, and of course the effort of the whole team to achieve the proposed objectives. It is a long road, you must not lose your passion, you must firmly believe in what you do. When all this comes together, you transmit values that go beyond the products you design.”

Alejandra Gandía-Blasco

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IMAGE CREDITS
Fashion designer: Juan Vidal

The ecstasy of dawn

Young fashion designer Juan Vidal selected one of La Casa Gandia Blasco spaces to photograph his new fall-winter campaign. The ecstasy of dawn.

 

“I think it is the perfect symbiosis between both worlds, it shows the majesty of the factory and the privacy of the home… it is a transition, an aseptic and white tunnel in which the wall and the textile go hand in hand, with great lighting.”

Juan Vidal

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IMAGE CREDITS
Photographer: © Uterqüe

Uterqüe, The play of light

Passion for fashion

 

Uterqüe, the premium brand of Inditex group, engaged with the design and the architecture of La Casa Gandia Blasco in its communication campaign The play of light, and included the clothing collection Ready to wear that glamorises its material high quality and the care for the details prevail.
The natural light and the airy spaces of La Casa Gandia Blasco’s industrial building built in 1940, were the perfect setting for The play of light staging.

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IMAGE CREDITS
Photographer: © Paula G. Furió
Article: Pepa Casado D'Amato
Online platform: Houzz TV

La Casa Gandia Blasco. Houzz TV report

A factory turned into an open house for everyone

 

This house is the flagship of Gandiablasco, renowned for its contemporary outdoor furniture.

 

Gandia Blasco is today a well-known (and recognised) outdoor furniture company which, to a great extent, has managed to highlight the quality of Spanish design internationally. The brand began to operate by producing blankets during the Spanish post-war period. In the 90s, with the generational succession, Gandia Blasco launched Na Xemena: a successful collection of outdoor furniture which has marked the brand’s personality to the present day. Since then, the manufacture of outdoor furniture with aluminium profiles and white colours, the hallmark of the house, has been added to production of textiles.

 

In 2011, the family decided to transform part of the old textile factory, located in Onteniente, into La Casa Gandia Blasco: a place halfway between a family home and a brand space-concept. José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales, President and Creative Director, and his children: Alejandra (Creative and Communications Deputy Director of the company, Creative Director of Diabla) and Álvaro (Deputy Director and Commercial Director) have opened up the doors to their home and to a very important part of their life.

 

Who lives here: José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales and his children, Alejandra and Álvaro.
Location: Onteniente.
Surface Area: 550 square meters divided into five floors.
Interesting fact: The house was the result of restoration work on an old textile factory from the 1940s and maintains its interior structure and height.

 

Since its foundation in 1941, Gandia Blasco has been a family business and continues to be so until the present day. José, Alejandra and Álvaro, share their day-to-day work and are constantly on the move between Onteniente, where the offices are located, Valencia and the production plant in Bocairent.

 

Some years ago, the family moved into the old factory. Although they have another home, the former often serves as the meeting place on weekdays. The building, which has not lost its industrial charm, has become a place where the colour white and Mediterranean airs reign. This sober and modern tone which characterises Gandia Blasco’s style is also present in this house.

 

Don’t miss the full report

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IMAGE CREDITS
Photographer: © Anna Casanova
Catering: Zoco Cuina Urbana

75 years of Gandia Blasco Group

We are celebrating another magical year during which GANDIABLASCO celebrated its 75th anniversary within its headquarters at Ontinyent. Workers, friends, collaborators and suppliers enjoyed an unforgettable night in the courtyard of The Gandiablasco house, a night of stories and memories recalling the path of this Valenica based company founded by José Gandía Blasco in 1941.

 

Ephemeris that we remember with a series of photos that we enjoyed making during a photo-call against a maritime backdrop to the beat of a live jazz band. But Gandia Blasco Group has never stopped exploring new horizons. True to its creative spirit this year the company launched a new brand inspired by living life to the maximum outdoors, DIABLA, inspired by the company’s ongoing relationship with young creative talent.

 

During the 90s, José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales re-invented the business and creative strategy of the company making design and innovation the new leitmotiv that would define the very same Gandia Blasco Group. An expression of José’s personality and Mediterranean roots that became a defining factor for the company and marked it out, together with Sergio Pastor, Director General of the company and the entire team of everyone involved. The textile tradition is continued with the GAN brand that was directed some years afterwards by Mapi Millet who established its identity.
The indoor brand of Gandia Blasco Group continues to grow around the world.

 

75 years later, generations and counting in Gandia Blasco Group, José and his children Álvaro, Deputy Director and Commercial Director, and Alejandra Gandía-Blasco, Creative and Communications Deputy Director of the company, Creative Director of Diabla, together with a large team directed by Sergio Pastor, Director General and Mapi Millet Director of GAN. People who together with collaborators and friends rely on and believe in the project. Despite its impressive growth we remain true to our founding values without forgetting our roots, maintaining our reputation as an international reference in the outdoor furniture sector while still reinventing ourselves on a continual basis.

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Weaving through life

Real space & metaphor

Home to inspiration

Home to memory

A man is known by the company he keeps

Home to textile identity

Home to shared knowledge

Home to design

Home to friendship

TEXTS
Weaving through life.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Weaving through life

Several paths lead to Casa Gandia Blasco. One traces a route dotted by specific events: dates that shook up the fate of the company, pieces that became benchmarks for the habitat sector, groundbreaking carpets, furniture that blurred the line between indoor and outdoor styles. A journey structured by collections, from furniture to GAN carpets, an in-depth examination of every single piece, right through to the most comfortable chaise-longue in the catalogue. Worn out by the long tour, we would then kick back under a pine tree at the foot of the Mediterranean to feel the quintessence of Casa Gandia Blasco caressing our skin.

 

On the other hand, we could also stop beating around the bush and venture right into Casa Gandia Blasco without even ringing the bell, plunging straight into its metabolism, eagerly nosing around, hungry to identify which fuel drives its engine.
Boldness?, idealism?, conviction?, stubbornness? In terms of the company’s human capital, these aren’t just regular employees. This is a unique set of people who believe in teamwork, most probably as a concept based on elective affinities and self-selection. They didn’t just wind up in the same company; surprisingly they all share the same corporate vision. These things don’t normally happen, but there is nothing normal about Gandia Blasco. They’re one in a million. Don’t expect a prefabricated house.

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Real space & metaphor.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Real space & metaphor

Now that we’ve surrendered to the world of mobile devices, constantly connected to the unlimited Web, it’s worth questioning whether it makes sense to return to a scale that we can touch with our hands, to a territory that we can call home. A place laden with the smells and grooves of the real world, a space that integrates the scenes of life to their fullest extent. A space that veers away from separation to bring together the physical and the emotional, function and work.
A place where we can even dare to conjure up the most hidden meanings of the home. Are we willing to overstep issues like style, decoration or trend to analyse exactly how we want to live? Can we imagine a life-house concept where everything fits?

 

La Casa Gandia Blasco stands as a real and a metaphorical space. It’s a personal proposal that goes beyond the furniture and opens up a consideration about ways of life and the role that design plays in configuring the world we inhabit and our relationship with people and objects. Casa Gandia Blasco considers the reciprocity between the private and the social, and the need to tackle substantial arguments, identity, coexistence, culture, learning, knowledge, business, personal fulfilment. Obviously, Casa Gandia Blasco is not for sale. It stands as an invitation to reconsider the issue from top to bottom and to suggest solutions that lighten our existence and facilitate the experience of completeness and Beauty. There is always time to back down.

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Home to inspiration.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Home to inspiration

Na Xemena

 

Have we mentioned Na Xemena yet? A lot has probably been said about this architectural piece located on the top of a hill facing the sea, on the island of Ibiza. The house belongs to José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales, although it’s more than a house: Na Xemena holds the key to understanding this story. We will now embark on a journey, a rite of passage, that closes the circle. We need to go back to the beginning. It happened by accident, almost. It was born from an outlandish idea: to manufacture outdoor furniture using aluminium profiles for windows. It was almost like DIY. Lack of money fuels imagination.

 

The year was 1996, and the wicker chair was the be all and end all of outdoor furniture. It was high time to improvise something that would tie in with the rehabilitation of the house. That experiment was like doing a triple back flip without a safety net, since the blanket company set its eyes on outdoor furniture. Over time, the mini-collection Na Xemena became the company’s flagship product and gained a cult-like status. Fate always manages to find its way (and to surprise us).

 

This house represents the aesthetic, conceptual and spiritual culture of Gandia Blasco, lacing the air with reminiscences of its origin, an atavistic sea that gave birth to several civilizations. A personal manner of understanding the Mediterranean, the communion with Nature, the sensoriality, the light and a certain degree of mysticism. However, Na Xemena can be taken as a cautionary tale: follow your instinct, listen to your intuition, believe in your dreams, they will guide you better than a compass. Does that sound funny? You can live without furniture, you can even live without a house. But you can’t live without dreams.

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Home to memory.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Home to memory

look in the mirror

 

What use is it to have reached a hundred countries and to have shops and showrooms dotted around the globe if you don’t recognise yourself when you look in the mirror? Gandia Blasco has never forgotten its biography. The company rethought itself after a four decade career (spanning from the early 1940s to the late 1980s) manufacturing and exporting top quality blankets. They took their expertise, gave it a twist and stayed true to their roots.

 

At the time, they took a high risk bet when they decided to put their money on contemporary design. True to its origin, the company designed textile lines for the home, building the world of carpets into their offer. They focused on seeking a new and personal language channelled through excellent designs. In the mid 90s the company Gandia Blasco debuted unexpectedly in the outdoor furniture sector with Na Xemena, a small collection that blew everyone away. Nobody understood it! They didn’t give up though, they fought on.

 

Let’s go back to the subject of memories and consider one of the most intelligent ways of preservingthem: architecture. Gandia Blasco’s head offices are about just that, about translating values into architecture. Above all, though, it’s about being able to detect those values, to recover them and promote them. It’s not about looking, it’s about seeing. And then acting accordingly.

 

Construction started in 1941, in the very centre of Ontinyent. The building was seen, by those who actually noticed it, as an attempt crafted by a disciple of rationalism to leave behind a notable creation on the landscape of squalid post-war Spanish architecture. After the rehabilitation works, the window that simply used to run up and along the whole façade blankly has now grown wings and taken on the appearance of a visual poem. Now it arouses curiosity: something’s cooking in Casa Gandia Blasco…

 

The mere decision of expanding the sides of the rectangle has redirected the construction towards the key concept in architecture, light. Light is also the tentpole of Gandia Blasco’s narrative: bright, fluid spaces, essential lines, joyful, gentle. Is it not precisely that vitalist conception of design, and that indolent and playful way of understanding beauty, that has made this one of the favourite brands on the international scene? Mind, though, achieving this simplicity isn’t as simple as it seems. We can’t be simpletons.

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TEXTS
A man is known by the company he keeps.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

A man is known by the company he keeps

“Come in, I’ll show you the building,” says José A. Gandía-Blasco, chairman of the company. He’s the link, the thread that connects past, present and future. He is a free, restless spirit. Born to hunt, to design products and to draw new pathways.
Amazingly, he never gives orders: “I have blind faith in my team,” he says. His command style is twice as efficient, as it’s based on trusting others. That’s probably why he never worked as a lawyer, although he studied Law. “José” is just another team member. He stimulates and brings them together, but in the end he’s an independent creative executive. He’s really excited about the possibilities opened up by Casa Gandia Blasco (which, actually, accommodates his own house inside, parts within parts, like the layers of an onion).

 

He leads us into the belly of a monster that remained dormant until not long ago. The construction spreads out over more than 6,000 sq. metres (four floors, basement, mezzanine and courtyard), taking up a whole block of the city. For over half a century, time stood still in some of the ramshackle warehouses. Once the rehabilitation works are completed, the structure will be ready to tell new stories. “These galleries housed the machines,” he says, “and those were where the blankets were stored because they required a lot of space”.

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TEXTS
Home to textile identity.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Home to textile identity

Tactile intelligence

 

As he thinks back to those days, a sliver of sunlight magically slices through the dark room. We are not alone, millions of specks of dust float in the immensity of time striking up a silent conversation. You then realise that a company’s standing is also measured by its respect for the past. Catalogues cannot capture moments like that. People born in these lands recognise the smell of processed wool, cotton, cloth, dyes, the convenience of the nearby mountains and rivers. Since the Middle Ages, and long before, the soul of this region has been textile to the core. Or it was at least. What remains is guarded and stimulated by Gandia Blasco. Readily, not snobbishly, as if it were the most organic thing in the world.

 

Living your childhood to the beat of textile mills marks your emotional education. Their awareness of textures and matters has allowed Gandia Blasco to develop a very fine tuned tactile intelligence. This company also knows how to pick out a good artisan in a crowd. Everything is produced without leaving the house; quality, like nobility, obliges. Consequently, their designs add the qualities of authenticity and honesty, given their support of and commitment to the industry and economy of the area. Gandia Blasco has been supporting sustainability and thinking locally for years, it’s threaded into its DNA.

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Home to shared knowledge.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Home to shared knowledge

Fuelling the engine

 

We rid our jumper of the fuzz of past times and, on our way to the courtyard, José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales excitedly talks about the Project. The time has come for Casa Gandia Blasco –the real place and the metaphor– to become a physical and symbolical expression of the principles that have give way to and continue to fuel the brand. The structure stands for the brand. It involves creativity, mobility, interrelation, exchange, invention, transparency. It involves shedding light on the values within, fuelling the engine.

 

The space designated for offices and administration has been relocated to a vast section on the first floor, whilst the third and fourth floors are home to new sections that cater to the exchange of knowledge, research and debate. Meetings, workshop and exhibitions will structure a programme that aims to combine ideas and praxis. It goes beyond intuition, it’s about giving them content and shaping them, selecting the material and the technology, producing the object and, ultimately, being able to communicate its distinctive and unique value in a super competitive world on a global scale.

 

This initiative strengthens Gandia Blasco’s contribution to the creation of new industrial dynamics, whilst promoting synergies between the corporate and production sectors, the field of education and the world of culture and arts. Their support for emerging talent –thanks to the Gandia Blasco Competition– ties in with a multidisciplinary proposal. The Casa del Conocimiento (House of Knowledge) provides a way to understand design and transfer it to all sides of everyday life.

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TEXTS
Home to design.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Home to design

Overlapping maps for indoor, passdoor, outdor

 

Detached, prefabricated, semidetached, detachable… Forget about stereotypes, inflexibility and dogmas when it comes to houses. It’s not a case of moving or changing the furniture, it’s about changing the perspective. In the sands of this slippery turn of the century, is there a concept sturdy enough to stop a house crumbling down?

 

The conceptual strategy that structures Casa Gandia Blasco has relied on transferring the exercise in design to the very epicentre of movement to achieve long-lasting and stable results (do not mistake stability with immobility). This dynamic allows us to identify the three concepts developed by Casa Gandia Blasco: Indoor, Passdoor and Outdoor. This space continuum explains Casa Gandia Blasco and structures the different furniture options. The success of a table, a bench or sunshade goes beyond a convenient shape.

 

This system of overlapping maps faces design with one of its most difficult challenges: where is the boundary that separates the inner skin from the outer layer? We need to rethink criteria and ask ourselves if when we exit our microcosm is it not, in fact, to enter a larger cosmos, be it city, country or Nature. The Casa Gandia Blasco considers these relationships, contexts and the fluidity of the spaces we live in. The impossibility of freezing movement and action.

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TEXTS
Home to friendship.
Written by Matilde M. Oriola.

Home to friendship

The courtyard, heart and agora

 

After visiting the different “homes” we walk out into the courtyard and into a different system. How does this large open air square influence the dynamics of Casa Gandia Blasco? It mirrors the vital role that a heart plays in a body. Nevertheless, in other ways the courtyard represents the organisational, psychosocial and humanist superstructure of Casa Gandia Blasco. It establishes the grounds for plurality and coexistence, the “polis” and the “civitas” of Antiquity. Yet this construction lives, breathes and evolves in the present.

 

We’re welcomed by Sansón, standing on his huge hind quarters and giving us warm XL size hugs (he must not know he’s a dog and, even less, a Saint Bernard). “Sansón, if you get in the way I’ll have to tie you up,” warns José A. Gandía Blasco Canales. Enter Murphy’s Law. The dog could mess things up, and he does. Shaded by a lemon tree, he listens attentively to his master’s voice, even when his words aren’t directed at him: “I want this courtyard to be for everyone,” says José A. Gandía-Blasco. “Woof! Woof!,” Sansón protests, as if to say ‘The courtyard’s mine!’

 

When you sort out the problem of dealing with productive and leisure time, you realise there is time for everything. This space recuperates the forgotten art of conversation; it echoes the agora of ancient Greece, the quintessential public space. How wonderful to find this real courtyard in a real house in a real village (even though the country seems less real by the day).

 

The chiringato (a word put together mixing two Spanish terms: chiringuito (kiosk) + gato (cat) –the corporate anagram) is a reflection of the courtyard, an invitation to chill out in the garden or terrace. It is a symbol of the easygoing, super cool spirit, the deepest dimension of the homo ludens. In fact, the courtyard is home to barbecues, it’s where the media improvise sets and where people plunge into the pool when least expected. A lemon tree, an orange tree and a laurel add a lot to the scene. Life does not have to be that complicated.

 

In the courtyard one feels the chemistry of the place and infers the infinite possibilities. Yet the script is still unwritten, the tale does not end here, it’s only just beginning. One learns to inhabit Casa Gandia Blasco just like one learns to live in one’s skin. No instruction manual, you learn on the go.

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