Founded in Florence in 1988 by Laura Andreini, Marco Casamonti and Giovanni Polazzi, Archea is today a network of more than 80 architects operating in six different cities – in Milan, Rome, Beijing, Dubai, São Paolo as well as in the headquarter office in Florence. The founding partners were joined in 1999 by Silvia Fabi who coordinates the design activities of the architcture practice. The interests and research activities of the firm range from the landscape to the city, from buildings to design. Even if the focus is on architecture, the projects vary from graphic design to publishing – through the direction and editorship of the international review of architecture Area, published by the Sole 24Ore group – from exhibitions to applied research. The complementariness of the various activities focussed on the design process with regard to different project scales open up a constant critical reflection on the issues of architectural construction. Each partner, besides his or her research in the field of design, conducts research at the architecture faculties of Florence and Genoa, where architect Marco Casamonti is full professor of architectural and urban planning.
In 2008 Archea decided to adopt the ISO management system in order to optimize and rationalize the administrative and productive processes associated with architectural design, thus guaranteeing a constant quality level.
The firm has therefore obtained UNI EN ISO 9001 certification from Moody International, both for the supply of architectural planning services and for the supervision of construction works.
In the course of the years the firm has been invited to prestigious national and international competitions, winning, among others, the competition for the Pirelli Office Building in the former Ansaldo area, the competition for the Archaeological Museum on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway and the competition by invitation for the construction of a more than 90 metres tall tower in the centre of Tirana, which is currently in construction.
The firm has won numerous international recognitions and has participated, with their built works, in several editions of the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Most important projects of the firm, both public and private, comprise: the Municipal library of Nembro (Bergamo), the transformation of the former Wine Warehouse of the harbour of Trieste, the new Antinori Winery in San Casciano Val di Pesa (Florence), the social and educatoinal centre of Seregno, the UBPA B3-2 Pavilion at the World Expo 2010, the Green Energy Laboratory for the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and the city of ceramics near Li Ling (Hunan), in China, which is nearing completion.