1975 – 1992 · AFRA AND TOBIA SCARPA
Founded in 1975 alongside B&B Italia, Maxalto soon developed a personal identity in the specialized production of artisan furniture. Striving for the highest standards of quality in terms of materials and workmanship is the objective of excellence inherent in the brand's very name. Indeed, Maxalto derives from the Venetian dialect terms "massa alto", which mean "the highest".
The brand's research into form looks to the past, with a revisitation of classical styles. Afra and Tobia Scarpa were its first interpreters, designing a series of wooden furniture items through the use of rare, ancient production processes typical of cabinet and lute making. The result was extremely striking in its sculptural effect, as epitomised by the Africa chair (Artona collection) and the New Harmony collection.
FROM 1993 · ANTONIO CITTERIO
After a first important collaboration with Afra and Tobia Scarpa, in 1993 Maxalto heralded a new era with Antonio Citterio as its sole designer, introduced by the creation of his first collection in 1996. Antonio Citterio’s work centred initially on the early twentieth century style and subsequently drew inspiration from the French design of the interwar period, always finding new and effective ways of interpreting contemporary aesthetic trends.
For Antonio Citterio, Maxalto became a production workshop in which to research and manufacture a collection of “modern neo-classics”. Neo-classics because they are filtered, in terms of form and finishes, through the contemporary eyes of an Italian architect, and modern because they are designed to provide comfortable solutions for the home intended as a homogeneous, coherent environment in which furniture and objects interact fluidly. Similar yet very different, the furniture in the Maxalto collection customises the home, its rooms becoming an expression of an entirely personal and unique lifestyle. The brand’s products have never been tied to the latest fads and fashions, offering instead a wealth of variations of comfort, of conviviality, and of the home as a private, domestic environment with a social dimension.
2021 · HERITAGE PERSPECTIVES
In 2021 the Maxalto collection opens with a re-elaborated style, recreated in its colour tones, dimensions, materials and models. What is proposed is a warm environment, with a lighter touch in terms of aesthetics; a coherent update, totally faithful to Antonio Citterio’s initial Déco ideal. The new colour schemes, i.e. the light tones of untreated wenge and oak, the bronze and chrome metal finishes, the burnished aluminium of certain structures, the warm nuances of leathers and fabrics and the textiles in the collection, inspired by the 1920s and the work of Jean-Michel Frank, define a sophisticated, luminous ambiance.
A precise re-elaboration of all models and their many variations lies behind this collection. Indeed, Antonio Citterio has integrally redesigned the existing tipologies, rethinking the structures, proportions, details, functionality and use of the furniture and its components. The entire collection creates the idea of rational luxury, animated by the search for a candid, non-aggressive aesthetic for furniture and objects, not a mere change to the structure, colours, materials, but creating a sense of balance in every single piece and in the whole collection. Tables, chairs, armchairs, sofas, beds, storage units are certainly functional objects, but together they create living spaces, “rooms” of an ideal home as envisioned by a designer and a company, neither of which have ever forgotten their roots. The ability of a long tradition of craftsmen, the intelligence to understand the evolution in living styles and what will endure and what must necessarily change, the capacity to constantly regenerate, form part of the DNA of this collection.