More than 100 years of works and success
Giuseppe Sala, trained as an artist and sculptor, and passionate about art in all its forms, began his entrepreneurial career with the creation of a cabinet making workshop in Camnago.
His son, Antonio, also a sculptor, presented product at the international exhibitions in Turin in 1911 and Milan in 1920. Antonio succeeded Giuseppe and gave a new dimension to the family business by creating the Antonio SALA Company, which exported its collections to the United States.
After the Second World War Italy’s economy suffered greatly. In these difficult conditions, Antonio handed down the company to his three sons, Ernesto, Ottavio and Aurelio. Ernesto, the eldest son and a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Milan, changed the company name to “Antonio SALA’s Sons”. The workshop started exporting products to European markets undergoing reconstruction while growing its presence in the United States.
This aggressive expansion strategy eventually paid off, as it led to a significant increase in production capacity and an increase in the workforce from around ten craftsmen to over forty.
The expansion continued with the opening of a 350sqm showroom in the center of Rome, the Eternal City. The showroom became a must for architects and interior designers looking for elegant and quality product to satisfy the Roman bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie, or “Roma Bene”, were named after a film by Carlo Lizzani. The “Roma Bene” immersed themselves in a world of superficial lifestyle and who were later masterfully portrayed in Federico Fellini’s cult film “The Dolce Vita”.
At the same time, SALA began to produce and export to the Middle East emerging markets.
A new Orientation
Antonio SALA, son of Ernesto and great-grandson of Giuseppe, is an architect and professor at the School of Fine Arts. He took over the management of the family business and reinstated the company’s original name, “Antonio SALA”. In the same year he inaugurates the new company headquarters in Camnago.
Antonio’s great artistic talent added to the creative workshop. Numerous collections were created, some of which were designed more specifically for certain markets to meet cultural specificities.
A great period of expansion began. Germany, France and Switzerland absorbed a large part of the production while the company maintained the major overseas markets.
Successive oil crises and economic crises in Europe shook consumer habits and the furniture market in particular.
Antonio SALA then turns to manufacture custom-made furniture, classic or contemporary, and creating major turnkey projects.
The company’s knowledge of international markets enabled it to work on projects all over the world for hotels, prestigious private properties, presidential residences, as well as institutional projects. Thus, between 1989 and 2000, Antonio SALA was the only Italian company to work on the construction of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Throughout this period, the company invested and acquired expertise in the meticulous production of furniture, various customization techniques and in the management of projects far from the original capabilities.
To support this effort, the company developed and strengthened the design office to help architects and decorators find the best technical solutions to meet quality and cost requirements
Following the unexpected death of Antonio SALA, his son Alessandro, also an architect and fifth generation since Giuseppe, took over the company at the age of twenty-two.
As a worthy heir to a long line of talented parents, he continued the development of the company. Aware of the major economic and technical challenges in an increasingly competitive and internationalized context, Antonio continued to invest year after year in production equipment and strengthen the design office to offer architect and interior design clients the means to carry out major turnkey projects all over the world.
Antonio SALA has two production workshops. One for contemporary furniture that is fully equipped with digital machines and another more traditional workshop that is dedicated to the production of classic furniture, integrating the great fields of cabinet making, sculpture, marquetry, gilding, upholstery, varnishing, etc.
A new Era
In addition to the well-established products of the Maison Antonio SALA, the desire to grow pushes architect Alessandro Sala to constantly seek new sources of inspiration and develop innovative strategies.
Alessandro decided to refresh SALA’s tradition by introducing a number of furniture collections characterized by quality, innovation and customization.
Leveraging on his knowledge of the History of Art and Design and on his sensitivity, he has learnt how to think out of the box in order to design very diverse collections that mix traditional and contemporary materials.
Today, the company is approaching new markets with this new spirit, is confident in its choices and feels sure that it will contribute to the growth of the sector in which it operates.