Terrazzo con tettoia in legno e vari divani bianchi e neri

This is the brief history of a container with intense and particular contents …
1952 is the year of birth of the Pellegrini publishing house in Cosenza, which has 3000 titles.

Entering the current headquarters, you are greeted by a large terrace that leads inside, from a square-plan room you enter on one side the administration, orders and distribution offices and on the other, the ‘sentimental corridor‘. Sentimental because it is a path of the soul, an emotional and material richness, made up of pages and pages, books, more or less full-bodied volumes, of different heights, placed along the shelves of a truly special library.

Bookcase with a huge book at the bottom instead of the wall

Last year the library dedicated to the publisher’s founder, Luigi Pellegrini, was inaugurated. A large plasterboard book (itself a bookcase) has been reborn with two special pages dedicated to the event. The library winds along the corridor: on one side the books, for the entire length that starts from the entrance and leads to the composition room, on the other the wall with the acknowledgments received by Professor Luigi Pellegrini, small-large pieces of sincere job satisfaction. I contributed to a small part of these books with the creation of the covers.

Over the years, my creativity, already fascinated by the idea of ​​the alternative recovery of objects, has inevitably intertwined with that of the publisher and this place, in addition to being a hotbed of literary ideas, has become a hotbed of manual creations inevitably linked to publishing and what revolves around the book.

Various photos showing a reading corner made up of small tables

Walter Pellegrini (the founder’s son) from time to time engages in the production of original creations, in which the enhancement of spaces and objects translates into a strong sense of balance and usefulness and, I do not hide that, often and gladly, I contributed (in the role of satisfied assistant) in developing  part of these little jewels of editorial design. On the terrace, dedicated to literary encounters and presentations, among the sofas, the recovered creations of round tables stand out with a pile of books as their central base, superimposed in alternating torsion and surmounted by wooden rounds covered with extracts of reproductions of magazines and pieces of publishing world that have made the history of the publishing house.

In the background, the large linotype, testimony of the printing technique, unknown to the new generations and which, replaced by modern publishing media, haughty and majestic reminds us of its role as the undisputed mother of the printed media. Even the corner bar table has a ‘literary’ soul: the stacked books in neat piles are placed in alternating three-to-three directions, page side and spine side, forming a linear design that has at the same time a function of balance and resistance. Recycled themed elements decorate the rooms.

The large surface was divided into functional environments for carrying out various activities through the use of plasterboard: desks, shelves and dividers, open or closed containers.

The bookcase was completely created by the publisher with simple oriented chipboard panels. The choice of 25 cm depth – only for the high shelf a greater depth was envisaged for the more full-bodied volumes – and the vertical interruption in alternating direction at the critical points allowed to obtain a play of shelves with a simple and linear, but absolutely solid and not subject to dips or sagging along the entire length. Decorating the vertical cuts is the superimposition of a ‘book spine’ collage of different colors with the words ‘Luigi Pellegrini’ library.

Moodboards showing the various flooring

From the corridor it is possible to access the editorial offices, the management and finally the composition. The door leading to this last room is a purely decorative bookcase door, the latest intervention of the publisher who, in making the best of it, has reinvented a substitute door for the glass one, broken due to incorrect repositioning (in which , alas, I got my share!). In fir wood and with the frame of the books placed on shelves, it welcomes the authors who withdraw the drafts, make corrections and interface with the composition before the volume goes to print.

In short, each room retains a link with the history of publishing and the publisher’s office welcomes guests at the large cherry-colored solid wood desk: a thick tempered glass protects and displays the old printing clichés, the characters in lead, paper and objects related to printing and history. The magic of books comes from entering and is linked to objects, pages, people, memories along an exciting sentimental corridor made up of people, authors, volumes, presentations, real libraries, for the heart and for the mind.