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Maxalto-Context Gallery
Factory in Italy, Archi­tect Renzo Piano


Italy (1975)

In 1975, Afra and Tobia Scarpa made a bold proposal to Piero Ambro­gio Busnelli, the founder of B&B Italia, about a new furni­ture line they wanted to produce. During an era defined by mate­r­ial exper­i­men­ta­tion and a wide­spread pref­er­ence for plastic, the duo wanted to focus on precious mate­ri­als like wood and fine crafts­man­ship. Maxalto was born. Blend­ing their eye for strik­ing forms with refined manu­fac­tur­ing tech­niques, the Scarpas created an artful collec­tion that would come to be synony­mous with fine Italian design. Indeed, the company’s name is inspired by the Venet­ian saying massa alto,” which means the highest” — speak­ing to the brand’s impec­ca­ble quality and taste. Early collec­tions, such as the Artona and New Harmony lines, demon­strate the design­ers’ pref­er­ence for supe­rior mate­ri­als and finishes, eye-catch­ing juxta­po­si­tions, and unusual shapes.

Since 1993, Maxalto’s design has been led by global icon Antonio Citte­rio, who has created a varied offer­ing of contem­po­rary furnish­ings. Inspired by French design between the World Wars, Citte­rio has ensured that each luxu­ri­ous item clearly delin­eates its func­tion. The result is five extremely live­able collec­tions that are meant to be mixed and matched in the home. The empha­sis on expert crafts­man­ship, high-quality mate­ri­als, and pure forms set forth by Afra and Tobia Scarpa contin­ues to inform the brand’s approach under Citterio’s direc­tion. A wide range of uphol­stered pieces by Citte­rio that exude comfort is comple­mented by the stricter geome­tries of dining tables, desks, consoles, and more. Many items continue to be made in the company’s signa­ture wood. Maxalto, which has a manu­fac­tur­ing facil­ity outside of Milan, occu­pies a unique corner of the market at the inter­sec­tion of livabil­ity, craft, and luxury. Context Gallery has been a trusted partner with Maxalto for over 10 years.


Designs by Maxalto (103)