Pangea Lab

The Riva Center is a charming building completely covered with Siberian larch wood, opened in 2010. The coating was born from a design idea of Renzo Piano Building Workshop performed for Harvard University. The space hosts on the ground floor a Showroom of about 1200 sqm, which exalts the essence and the uniqueness of the collection of furnishings made of real solid wood.
The space also houses a collection of old craft bicycles dating back to the early twentieth century. 

On the first floor of the building you can find the Museum of Wood, with over 5,000 pieces on display including woodworking machines and tools, a unique collection of its kind in Europe for its number of pieces.

Undisputed star of the space is the “Antico” table, made of millennial Kauri wood, 48,000 years old and 12 meters long, with the iron base design by Architect Renzo Piano. 

On 26th September, during  the Festival of the Wood, which was conceived by Maurizio Riva and then extended to the whole city of Cantù, scheduled from 23th September  until  8th October, Riva 1920 inaugurated the space "Pangea Lab" on the second floor of the Riva Center of Cantù.


It’s a  striking space made of fir timber and glass that houses the table Pangea, symbol of Expo 2015 design by Michele de Lucchi, positioned inside the Pavillon Zero conceived by Davide Rampello. The projects is inspired to the single continent that once was believed to include all the emerged lands and that during the subsequent geological ages was divided in different continents. The surface of 80 square meters made of Kauri, the wood coming from New Zealand, is composed of 19 shaped pieces and supported by 271 legs made of Briccola, disused oak poles coming from the Venetian Lagoon. A key point for  the realization of the project is the respect for the environment and the protection of the  trees heritage through the use of re-use timber for which as always, the company stands out.

All along the walls there is a xylotheque, a collection of woods coming from all over the world and a selection of natural materials such as: leather, marble, metals, glass and fabrics collected in special glass display cases. the result of the collaboration with over 65 companies in the area that have the opportunity to show their productions.Pangea Lab is an educational and training space whose purpose is to get acquainted with processing and materials.   

Over the years, Riva 1920 has promoted important projects that link the reality of wood and entrepreneurship to those of art, architecture, design, culture and affecting social awareness, sustainability and care for the environment, paying close attention to young people and their future. A clear example are the events  regularly organized in this  space and that hosted characters like Michele De Lucchi, Mario Botta, Alessandro Mendini, Mario Bellini, Paolo Pininfarina, Matteo Thun, Antonio Citterio, Gualtiero Marchesi, Carlo Cracco, Davide Oldani, Vittorio Sgarbi, Elio Fiorucci, Antonio Caprarica, Carla Fracci, Flavio Caroli, Davide van De Sfroos, Letizia Moratti for the San Patrignano project and many more. Through their testimonies, it was possible to explore different areas making them accessible and useful  to a heterogeneous audience.


Young people have always played a key role in the daily activities of Riva 1920, a clear example are the numerous competitions of ideas that provide the winners cash prizes, but above all offer the opportunity to see their own prototype produced and put in the catalogue.   


To further express the company's proximity to young people, Riva 1920 has devised a training project that includes visits to the manufacturing departments of some furniture companies. The project is aimed at students of the University of Architecture, Design Institutes, Academies, ecc.

Discovering "how a product  is made" is definitely an interesting challenge to shorten the distance between the academic world and the world of crafts and industry. In this way, students are able to assist the various working processes by assimilating a series of essential information during the design and feasibility studies that include knowledge of materials and workmanship. This project also plays an important role in the area as the laboratories involved have the opportunity to open the doors of their companies, tell their production processes and show the latest in terms of technology and materials. Getting in touch with tomorrow's professionals is a crucial step in not losing skills and specificities. The added value of this program is to extend the visit to four other laboratories, each specializing in the processing of a material other than wood, such as metal, marble, leathers and textiles, all natural materials. By diversifying the proposed contents you can get a complete overview of the furniture world.
The same project will be in favor of architects for the acquisition of training credits. The aim will be to inform professionals about new materials and the latest technologies available.


The event was attended by many distinguished guests including: Michele De Lucchi, Roberto Maroni (President of the Lombardy Region), Davide Rampello, Andrea Cancellato, Monica Maggioni (Chairman Rai), Carlo Gorla (Mediaset), Marc Sadler, Stefano Domenicali (Lamborghini), Alessandro Lunelli (Ferrari Wine) and many more.


Chef for the evening of the seated dinner: Davide Oldani.
Official Wine Partner: Ferrari Vino



Some small wooden houses designed by Michele De Lucchi are exposed inside Pangea Lab,they were  born as fun in 2004, when the architect decides to shape his architectural reflections by engraving the wood surface with the saw blade. Hence, the research on Conceptual Models which is representative of possible architectures has begun, and then evolved into the study of project designs of buildings actually made. From these three-dimensional shapes came the called series“The form of empty space”: five experimental architectural objects designed by Michele De Lucchi in 2017 and made of solid walnut thanks to the collaboration with Davide and Maurizio Riva. The execution of these sculptures is no longer based on the manual constructive possibilities, but on the sophisticated technological capabilities of the five-axis machine. Five-axis machining allows you not only to define the outer shape and contour, but allows you to dig into the wood block materializing the empty space within the architectures. The result is a series of models farther away from the iconic image of architecture, but closer to the reality of built spaces.



“They are what they are, it's not hard to figure out who they are. Even  their name never appears, not even once, not even to confirm that you are actually talking about them".They all have a name, a Latin pompous but accurate name. They have emotions but do not show them, because they are noble minds, because they have a skin that looks like a bark. They understand without talking, just moving their foliage  into the wind. They are always there, who all welcome in their hug, they make no difference.
"They that are gold" is an illustrated novel written by Michele De Lucchi's pen, made and presented at the inauguration of Pangea Lab. Among these pages is told the story of who has put roots in this world centuries ago, and since then silently they look at us moving, making us almost forget about their presence. Let us almost forget what we should always keep in mind: they are really our gold.


 "They are so indispensable and so present in everything we see and in everything we have and we do that it is no longer necessary to name them. But just for this total continuous presence we tend to no longer matter and we forget how irreplaceable they are. This story then does not want to fool anyone and I just hope not to hurt anyone. It only serves to bring them back to the light of the mind so that we do not forget about their beauty and value. Fortunately, at this moment, many books have come out talking about them and they have helped me a lot. Actually, I've also drawn them to full hands because I really didn’t know many of the things they have been told here before I start writing. So I made a list of books, which is published at the end of the story, which can be of help to anyone who wants to know more.
They are what they are, it's not hard to figure out who they are. From the first pages you can see who they are and that  they are the protagonists of the story. Likewise, their name never appears, not even once, even to confirm "Michele De Lucchi.



He is protagonist of the avant-garde of architecture and design since the seventies.
He’s a famous ordinary Professor and  teaches at the Polytechnic of Milan.
He constantly holds lectures and lessons at universities and international conferences defending the humanistic role of technical professions.
He draws, paints and sculpts wooden objects and models in his laboratories in Milan and Angera.
In his spare time, he designs buildings, environments, objects.




At the end of the evening, was given to guests who liked it, a small oak tree to be planted in the garden, in a forest or in a park to actively contribute to the reforestation of green spaces.The initiative was sponsored by the National Association Rilegno which wished to join the reforestation project.