Seats of learning
From its base near Milan, the Molteni Group draws together nearly a century of stunning artisan furniture design
“The principles that form the genetic blueprint of the Molteni Group are timeless heritage, devotion, care, responsibility and passion,” says Giulia Molteni, a third-generation member of the family at the heart of this iconic Italian furnishing brand. “We bring contemporary design, flawless functionality and innovative solutions into the homes of our customers. Our offerings embody the beauty and quality of the ‘Made in Italy’ tenet – attention to detail and obsession with quality are our hallmarks.”
The Molteni Group comprises four flagship brands – Molteni&C, Dada, UniFor and Citterio – which, together, represent the culmination of decades of design and engineering excellence. Through its global network of branches, Molteni’s renowned furniture collections have found their way into the world’s most stylish homes, offices and community spaces.
Despite its global acclaim, the company remains steadfastly loyal to its Italian heritage, with all of its products still proudly made in Italy, using durable, responsibly sourced, recyclable materials. Its growth has been integral to the success of the Brianza region, a part of Lombardy at the foot of the Alps. This area of northern Italy has been historically famed for its wood craftsmanship, and Molteni is keen for the region’s success to continue.
“Molteni has evolved hugely since 1934, when it was founded by my grandparents, Angelo and Giuseppina Molteni,” says Giulia. “What began as a small, artisan business, known locally for its excellent craftsmanship, is now a flag-bearer for Italian quality in over 90 countries, ranking among the world leaders in the furnishing and design sector.”
In 2015, the Molteni Museum was established at the Molteni Group’s headquarters in Giussano, just north of Milan, to showcase Molteni’s legacy and to immortalize generations of research, design and manufacturing. Housed in an old factory that has been given a stunning modernist makeover, it contains an unrivalled permanent collection that has been co-curated by the celebrated British designer Jasper Morrison. It reflects the wider evolution of furniture design culture, both locally and globally over the past 80 years.
Molteni’s reputation within Italy and further afield has earned it numerous high-profile commissions and several design accolades from the Good Design Awards, the Corporate Art Awards and the ADI Compasso d’Oro Awards, among many others. The company has also garnered the respect of several notable international designers and architects, many of whom it has entered into partnership with. “Our design partners include Gio Ponti, Aldo Rossi, Luca Med, Jean Nouvel and David Chipperfield, to name but a few,” says Giulia. “Every designer’s unique perspective is vital in crafting our furniture. Through these collaborations, our products benefit from an holistic approach; where detailed knowledge of architectural trends and the way in which people interact with architectural spaces directly inform the design of our furnishings. By fully understanding these important dynamics, we are able to create truly versatile, contemporary core collections that can then be further adapted to our customers’ spaces.”
Molteni Group’s innovative design agility owes much to its adoption of state-of-the-art manufacturing methods. It combines the streamlined, standardized nature of mechanical production lines with more adaptable engineering solutions, to provide the personalized finishes sought by its customers. The result is consistently high-quality bespoke products that can be delivered globally within reasonable and reliable timescales.
“Our customers associate Molteni with timeless design, fresh functionality and innovative technology,” concludes Giulia. “From these fundamental expectations, we create products that are rather like beautiful garments – expertly fashioned from the finest sustainable products, yet easily tailored to precisely suit the individual.”