One of Italy's most exclusive and picturesque coastal villages has secured the assistance and expertise of Akzo Nobel, Arnhem, the Netherlands, in helping to ensure that its distinctive character and heritage is preserved for future generations.
The authorities in Portofino - a fashionable retreat on the Ligurian Riviera - are the latest in Italy to unveil their City Plan, a specially designed guide developed by the company's Sikkens® brand, which describes the colors and materials that have to be used in all future restoration and redecoration projects.
Officially launched in October, the City Plan for Portofino is one of 25, which Sikkens has been involved with to date, following the likes of Turin, Trieste, the island of Ponza, and Caserta. Another is also being prepared for a large part of Rome.
"A City Plan is essentially a color collection that is typical of a particular city or part of a city," explains Pino Milana, Sikkens' marketing manager in Italy. "The color collection helps public authorities to introduce legislation, which means people have to avoid using colors for exterior redecoration that are either not typical of an area, or destroy the color characteristics of a city."
What's remarkable about the Portofino plan is that Akzo Nobel will be supplying the paint free of charge for five years to all homeowners in the area under investigation. This essentially includes all the buildings on the town's famous waterfront facing the harbor. In addition, anyone who owns a home in Portofino that is outside the scope of the project will be offered a 50 percent discount on Sikkens products for repainting his or her premises.
"The expectation is that within five years the whole area included in the project will have been coated exclusively with Sikkens products," continues Milana. Financially it may sound like a strange decision, but Portofino is probably the most prestigious City Plan Sikkens has been involved with and the image of the brand will benefit enormously. We are building an enviable reputation as the City Plan brand, and coating all the waterfront buildings at Portofino will be a fantastic advert for our products and expertise."
Working with Massimo Poggi, a renowned architect from Genoa, compiling the City Plan for Portofino was a detailed process that included conducting an analytical and historical study of the traditional colors used on the town's buildings over the last few hundred years, as well as investigating techniques, materials, building concepts and application methodologies.