Inspired by the post-war rebuilding spirit and the new needs of Italian families, local designers and brands across Italy quickly became the international leaders in transforming everyday objects into something elegant, from household appliances to chairs, lamps and even door knobs. The 1950s and '60s were especially profitable for Italian design, the result of a combination of the country's rich history, its strong manufacturing tradition and the use of new production techniques that were emerging at that time.
Founded by Francesco Malberti and Luigi Riboldi during this period of industrial prosperity, Rimadesio has made its name as one of the Italian brands that has most successfully applied innovation to design since 1956. Despite having started its journey as a producer of glass panels for other furniture-makers, the brand based in Brianza, the heart of the Italian design industry, quickly gathered extensive knowledge in treating this material, an expertise that it's still known for even today. Besides glass, and keeping up with the trends of that time, Rimadesio expanded its range of materials to also include Plexiglas and wood, the perfect example of which is one of its first self-produced pieces: the Thyco bar trolley, designed by Giorgio Ponti and Gianfranco Mariani. The Settemila 17 coffee table, conceived by the same designers in 1966, revealed Rimadesio's constant pursuit for transparency and lightness, the desire to innovate and the outstanding combination of materials, showcasing a sculptural structure in Plexiglas and glass.
In a natural evolution from working with glass, the brand developed a series of pieces using mirrored surfaces, from the Venus mirror and the Club side tables to the Specchi d’autore collection, developed using serigraphy, in collaboration with artists such as Lucio del Pezzo, Franco Grignani and Lucia Pescador. However, Rimadesio's interest in architectural elements only emerged in the late '70s, with the launch of the Modulo collection by Martino Perego. This wall system, comprising various mirrored modules, summed up the main features of a Rimadesio product even back then – versatility, style and a special concern for function and reliability – and, thanks to its success, would mould the future of this family business. Although it continued to produce pieces in curved glass throughout the '80s, such as tables, shelves and accessories conceived by designers such as Carlo Bartoli, the brand's focus moved further and further away from this more sculptural approach and embraced minimal lines with great technical accuracy.
Once one of Francesco Malberti's children took charge, current president Davide Malberti, Rimadesio celebrated the most important creative partnership in its history when it joined forces with the architect and designer Giuseppe Bavuso. Known for being a perfectionist and for always following through with his vision of quality and elegance, Bavuso proved to be the right man at the right time by embracing every aspect of the Rimadesio project and even designed the company's headquarters, a building defined by rationality, simplicity and plenty of natural light.
Having embarked on his collaboration with the brand in 1992 with Siparium, the first system of custom-made sliding doors in aluminium and glass on the market, the Italian designer played a crucial role in creating this type of solutions, which allowed greater freedom when laying out domestic spaces, making them bigger or smaller depending on the requirements, but always using light as a key element. With extruded aluminium and glass, in the most varied of finishes, as the materials of choice to create their highly technical and innovative products, Rimadesio and Bavuso have developed some of the most memorable collections in the field of furniture and interior design solutions over the last two decades. The Ghost doors, the Zenit modular system, the Flat tables and the Sixty shelves – all still in production except for Ghost – are some of the pieces that helped build a distinctive Rimadesio aesthetic, which blends essential design and complete respect for the materials.
With more than 50 years of experience, today, the brand is a stand-out name in the best Italian design, proof of which is its extensive collection of systems, doors and furniture. While the Vela door stands out for its magnetic closing system, the Abacus system brought a new level of elegance to living rooms with its intelligent storage and multimedia support solutions. Meanwhile, the Stripe and Velaria sliding doors, with their thin structure and exemplary finish, are the perfect solutions for interiors where light, versatility and attention to detail are key factors. The Cover line, launched in 2013, once again showed Rimadesio's commitment to innovation, by presenting an original system of hinged doors designed to create wardrobes or closets without any kind of external structure, with all the components – hinges, shelves and LED lighting – integrated in the fixed uprights. Despite Rimadesio making its name for its systems, the brand's furniture has also become one of its calling cards for the quality, accuracy and visual perfection, exhibited in pieces such as the aluminium Wind bookcase, the Manta table (with various table-top options) and the sleek Eileen sideboard.
Boasting more than a hundred employees, various showrooms worldwide (the flagship store located inside the company headquarters in Giussano is particularly noteworthy) and a collection in constant technical evolution, Rimadesio shows that achieving harmony between innovation and discreet style is the winning formula for success.
Originally published in Essential Macau.