NEW LEXINGTON, OHIO
Ludowici Roof Tile opened the Factory of Ideas, the world’s first hands-on facility for accurately visualizing and designing terra cotta roofs, in 2007. Visitors work one-on-one with Ludowici experts to select clay tile, build mockups at the correct pitch and view them in full sunlight at proper orientation. The mockups can be modified by Ludowici experts, the customer, or the designer as many times as required for a perfect end result. When the customer is satisfied, the mockups can be packaged and shipped to the customer’s destination of choice for review at the project site in conjunction with actual site surroundings and other selected building materials.
WHAT IS THE FACTORY OF IDEAS?
1.) The Factory of Ideas is a 105 year old factory building renovated to become the world’s only hands-on interactive facility where visitors can work with Ludowici experts to build custom roof mockups. A roof is a large part of any design; it is extremely difficult to visualize what it will look like in the real world due to subtle material and lighting changes. At the Factory of Ideas, a guest can work with Ludowici experts to make mockups with the actual tile at correct pitch and proper orientation, and then view the mockups in different lighting situations.
2.) The visitor solves unique design and construction problems with Ludowici experts with the mockup right in front of them. Ridge, rake, eave and field tiles are part of the mockups. Each visitor will be greeted by a Ludowici expert at the main office, welcomed, and then accompanied down the Slow Axis to the Factory of Ideas.
3.) The Slow Axis is a 750-foot long walkway across the open prairie, giving visitors time to develop a contemplative and exploratory frame of mind. Along the Slow Axis are ten plinths made of broken tile, called jitney, these plinths are then topped by Decorative Finials or Intersection Terminals
4.) The Factory of Ideas is organized as a hands-on assembly line of possibilities where the visitor can interact with the industry’s largest range of tile forms, styles, colors and textures. Ludowici’s guests can then select, customize, match, modify and create tiles. If given advanced notice, Ludowici can manufacture custom tiles and construct a mockup prior to the visitor’s arrival, then the mockup can be modified as desired. Ludowici can also ship final mockups to the job site.
5.) In the center of the space are three rail carts with adjustable tops where the mockups are made; two adjustable tops for large planes, one adjustable top for a symmetrical ridge. The mockups are then pushed outside to the Viewing Terrace, rotated to the proper orientation on a turntable and seen in full sun. Mockups can be modified as many times as the visitor requires, all with expert advice. Color blends can be refined, special tiles can be integrated, transitions can be studied and resolved.
LYNETTE STUHLMACHER, ANTUNOVICH ASSOCIATES, CHICAGO, IL
“The really great thing about the Factory of Ideas is that they have carts that roll in and out of the building, which simulate roof angles and help you better understand how light will impact the appearance of the tile.We took our tiles out on top of the carts, along with the accessory pieces.We were then able to stand back and see what our selections looked like in comparison to dozens of other samples.We went to the FOI expecting to find a second best option but found the perfect option instead.”
“It’s like being in a candy store for architects because of all of the options, colors, and patterns that are available. We specifically went to the Factory of Ideas to match the historic shape, texture, and color of our tile for a restoration project. It’s much easier to make a selection, or even a precise visual match, with three-dimensional samples rather than with two-dimensional images on paper or a computer screen.”
BILL HARRISON, BILL HARRISON DESIGN, ATLANTA, GA
MIKE ROBINSON, SAMSEL ARCHITECTS, ASHEVILLE, NC
“The Factory of Ideas is a valuable tool. You are able to see what the product looks like in an array of circumstances.You can see the tile in sunlight, from one angle to another. It’s truly a hands-on experience and you can see all the selections Ludowici offers. When it comes to picking tile you can’t shop online for it, you need to be face to face with it. You can put different tiles together and see if it works or not.“
“Going to the Factory of Ideas is a unique experience because it allows architects and clients to see, touch and feel all the different Ludowici tile options. All of the tile options and colors are there, beautifully displayed with great natural light. I think it has to be inspirational for architects and clients alike to see all of the possibilities for tile roofs.”
TODD HETZ, TODD HETZ ROOFING, CINCINNATI, OH
BILL SARAS, HOMEOWNER, DRUMS, PHILADELPHIA, PA
“It’s clear after going through the Factory of Ideas that Ludowici is not willing to sacrifice for automation and that they take great pride and care with their products. Because of the customization it’s a ‘must’ to go to the Factory of Ideas. Each product is different from the next.To know it is to see it and it’s worthwhile.”
“The Factory of Ideas showroom was fantastic, I was very impressed, it showed us everything that Ludowici carries and all the different varieties. We went there because my wife and I are in the process of building our house. It really helped us make our choice.”
WHAT ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS OF THE FACTORY OF IDEAS?
- Space for 1 to 100 people. All are welcome!
- Accessible to the disabled.
- Ample workspace for computers, drawings, sketches and samples.
- Workstations, a library of photographs and design details, a galley, a large conference table, teleconferencing and projection equipment.
Ludowici Roof Tile:
4757 Tile Plant Road
New Lexington, OH 43764