mio babo fava mattoni,
fazo mattoni anca me,
ma la casa mia ’ndov’è ?
Gruppo Censeo is a high-end renovation and building maintenance company. Founded in 2011 in the province of Brescia, on the initiative of Giacomo Paddeu and Francesco Moretti, entrepreneurs who started from scratch, it is a young, dynamic and innovative company, but strongly rooted in the values of traditional Brescia and Bergamo craftsmanship: quality, precision in details and highly specialised personnel.
This philosophy has led the company to successfully establish itself in the world of general contractors, winning prestigious orders.
Gruppo Censeo has been involved in projects for the renovation of residential flats, the construction of the headquarters of notary’s offices, real estate companies, and large companies; it has also realised showrooms and boutiques for well-known fashion brands. Finally, Gruppo Censeo has also developed in recent years important renovation and restoration works in historical residences such as La Vigna di Leonardo in Milan and the Portaluppi Foundation. Besides dealing with renovations, the company also intervenes in building maintenance; operating with a complete integrated system in an active and dynamic manner.
RESPONSABILE UFFICIO TECNICO
GEOMETRA DI CANTIERE
GEOMETRA DI CANTIERE
Text by Vittorio Sgarbi
Speaking of Giacomo Paddeu, I would have liked to call upon at least a precedent in terms of bearing a Sardinian name, but within a completely “continentalized” – as they say on the Island – family, and consequently discuss his professional experience. I am referring to Giovanni Antonio Porcheddu, who unlike Paddeu was born in Sardinia, but was Turinese by adoption ever since he started living in the city as a university student, featuring on the front line of Italian technological evolution in engineering and construction between the late-1800s and the early-1900s. Thanks to intuition, he saw in the so-called Systéme Hennebique (known in Italy as “reinforced concrete”) a revolutionary building medium, and helped promote it and implement it with the dedication of an apostle.
As for Moretti, the other element of Gruppo Censeo’s Dioscuri we hereby praise, I would have liked to highlight the propitious and foreboding homonymity with the architect that many, perhaps not wrongly, consider the greatest of the 1900s: Luigi, author of absolute masterpieces even across the border, such as the Casa della Scherma, the Girasole and San Maurizio apartment blocks in Rome, the Corso Italia complex in Milan, the Tour de la Bourse in Montreal, and the Watergate in Washington.
Yet, my comparison would be fruitless. The sincere, utterly honest humbleness Paddeu and Moretti applied to their work – even after achieving professional successes that would have spurred a great deal of immodesty in most of their colleague – would make such analogy ridiculous, just like the role that some have attempted to assign me in such situations. A traditional, adulating practice – the “occasional” intellectual performance (a “prostitution” to say it more vulgarly, but more understandably) – that is not at all dying, as only the most naïve may think, but that, instead, given the current dire straits, may undergo a relaunch in the near future.
No, as Paddeu and Moretti have taught us, we do not want winged aoidoi to Pindarically chant our glory; we would not find a reference in such Trimalchioan rhetoric. This is a good thing, and is relieving for those who otherwise would have had the duty to praise. Nevertheless, we must tap into a part of our knowledge unless we intend to remain silent. There is a character from Fellini’s Amarcord that may be worth mentioning to draw inspiration for a commentary on Paddeu and Moretti. The character is a mason-poet – most likely an invention by Tonino Guerra, who had a crucial role in the screenplay – serving the “principal”, as he is called by his workers: the foreman Aurelio Biondi (played by Armando Brancia), father of the young Titta (Bruno Zanin) who is the main character of the movie. At one point, encouraged by his coworkers, Calzinàzz – the nickname that the mason-poet goes by – starts to recite a humoristic composition using a Romagna accent strategically garnished – given the target audience – with Italianisms: “My grandfather made bricks, my father made bricks and I make bricks too, but where is my home?”
The poem spurs the amusement of the other bricklayers, but not that of the foreman Biondi, who prefers to reflect on Calzinàzz’s verses and presents a few elements of personal philosophy bordering on a more primitive style, but undoubtedly boasting a logic: “I know your kind, you know? I was a poor man too, what do you think? But I became a foreman little by little… You need to work. And by working hard… you work. You need to work.”
This might be just the key to understanding the spirit behind Paddeu’s and Moretti’s aspirations. At a time when, in the world of design and construction at all levels, pseudo-intellectual ambition is becoming a new form of ignorance, with void and fortuitous words compensating the abundant lack of action, Paddeu and Moretti revive the rights of a work ethic/aesthetics in which every result achieved finally finds a justification in itself: purely the result of evident skills and an obsessive dedication, essentially acquired through other work experiences, without the need for a preface nor addition to the ending.
Because “by working… you work”, and ask no further question.