Factory of Ideas Design Center
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Ludowici’s Factory of Ideas design center is a unique hands-on facility where visitors work one-on-one with our experts to design their new roof. Housed in a 128-year-old factory building, visitors can browse the entire Ludowici product line including decorative and historic tiles and trim, select clay tiles for their project, experiment with colors, surfaces and blends, and build mock-ups at the correct pitch and proper orientation for their project.
Visitors can study transitions, explore different trim styles, and solve unique construction challenges with Ludowici experts – all with full-size tile and trim pieces. Once approved by the client, the mock-up serves as a template for the project.
Visitors can also tour the Ludowici manufacturing facility to see exactly how their tile is created and visit with Ludowici artisans at work.
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. The roof is a large part of any design – and extremely difficult to visualize. Environmental changes such as lighting, shade, rain, and working with natural material add subtle changes best seen in person. At the Factory of Ideas, a guest works with Ludowici experts to create mock-ups of the actual tile at proper pitch and orientation, and then test in various environments.
The visitor solves unique design and construction problems alongside Ludowici experts. Ridge, rake, eave and field tiles are part of mockups. Each visitor will be greeted by a Ludowici expert at the main office, welcomed, and then accompanied to the Factory of Ideas.
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.
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.
“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 DESIGN
“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 ROOFING
“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.”
Visiting the Factory of Ideas
The Factory of Ideas is open by appointment only, Monday-Friday 8 am-4 pm. We highly recommend visiting in the morning so that you will have plenty of time to work in the design center as well as to tour the manufacturing facility.
The Factory of Ideas is located at a working manufacturing facility and your safety is our first and foremost concern. When visiting, please wear closed-toe flat shoes as you will be required to wear steel toe shoe covers for your protection. You will also be required to wear safety vests, ear and eye protection.
The facility is located at 4757 Tile Plant Road, New Lexington, OH 43764. When you arrive, please follow the signs to visitor parking and check in at the front desk in the main office. Your Ludowici representative will meet you there and take you to the Factory of Ideas.