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.