The range of products by the Azucena brand belongs to the core of Italian design. The company was founded in 1947 by Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Corrado Corradi Dell’Acqua, Ignazio Gardella, Maria Teresa and Franca Tosi with the vision of becoming an icon of modernist design.
Maria Sala, current CEO of Azucena, is holding a sculpture of a badger dog, which was an inspiration for the company’s name, in the flagship showroom in Via Montenapoleone, Milan.
Despite being 103 years old, the legendary architect and designer Luigi Caccia Dominioni is still working, but the brand is managed by his niece Maria Sala, whom we visited in the Milanese showroom on fashionable Via Montenapoleone. Stepping in the showroom of Azucena is like being in the heart of Milanese style. Dominioni’s style of architecture is all around Milan. He has designed dozens of buildings around the city, which defined the mid-century modernist elegant aesthetics. That’s why he also founded Azucena with his great friends and collaborators as a personal manufacture to produce everything from the fittings to lighting and furniture.
His architectural works have always been based on complex and definitive vision to design everything from A to Z. Azucena challenged this problem and since the brand was established, it has created a wide range of products, designed mostly by Dominioni, but also by Corrado Corradi Dell’Acqua or Ignazio Gardella, forgotten masters of Italian modernism.
While some Dominioni’s pieces such as Catilina or Chinotto chairs are slowly becoming the true icons of the 20th century Italian culture, the company also started to collaborate with contemporary designers, namely Munich-based Konstantin Grcic who designed Entré Deux screen for the brand in 2011.
All Azucena products are manufactured by local artisans from Lombardy. Metal workers, leather makers, carpenters, textile experts and others together create highly elegant and glamorous furniture pieces. They are assembled in Busto Arsizio workshop by skilled craftsmen.
Our visit began at the Azucena’s showroom with organic Fascia Specchiata coffee table designed by Luigi Caccia Dominioni in 1970.
The following day we got an opportunity to peek into the workshop of Azucena in Busto Arsizio that assembles the individual pieces made by leading artisans around Milan.
Interview & text: Adam Štěch
Text edit: Helena Kardová
Photo: Tomáš Souček