UniFor. 50 years of design
When UniFor began its new adventure in the early 1970s, Molteni&C was already a well-established company, possessing over a quarter of a century of experience, with its headquarters in Giussano, in close proximity to Milan. The man at the helm, Angelo Molteni, had successfully transformed an artisanal operation into a large industrial manufacturing company reaching leading positions in the furniture markets of Italy and the world. In a constantly evolving market in which everything began to move very quickly, and in reaction to his own business, which was undergoing rapid transformation, Angelo understood that office furniture was the future: open-space planning was changing how people worked and the industry needed to find an effective and immediate response to the needs and requirements of office workers
After revealing the company Casaluci Rovellasca, Angelo Molteni founds UniFor M3, which goes on to become UniFor in 1974.
The company is led by engineer Piero Molteni, Angelo's second son.
UniFor starts producing and distributing the Modulo3 System. An iconic piece of corporate organization, designed by Bob Noorda and Franco Mirenzi.
Michele Casaluci, Luca Meda, Franco Mirenzi and Richard Sapper design Misura, a system that adapts the materials, colors and combinations of Modulo3. Its components permit the organization of single traditional cells as well as large open spaces. In 1986, the Misura ST system is presented, a new system aimed at updating and enriching the previous one.
UniFor begins the construction of its new headquarters in Turate (Como). The architectural project is entrusted to Angelo Mangiarotti.
UniFor enters the world of Contract: IBM America orders 1300 Modulo3 desks for its office headquarters in Mount Pleasant, New York.
UniFor France, the first foreign subsidiary, is born. The following year the central showroom in Rue de Saint Pere 6 is opened. The architectural project will be entrusted to Afra and Tobia Scarpa.
After years of successful growth and expansion, UniFor continues to establish itself as a global industry leader. New overseas subsidiaries are opened in Australia and America.
Communications also began to develop, with Pierluigi Cerri being chosen as Art Director.
UniFor develops the s180 iSaltelliti. A line of cutting-edge desks which are adjustable in height. They go straight into production as standard products. Over the years, the s50 and s1000 models will be developed and, in 2018, the s200 model.
UniFor entrusts Richard Sapper with a research project aimed at rekindling the 18th century Secretaire. This is how Secretaire was born, an object from the past that incorporates modern day needs.
During the Designers' Saturday in the Showroom in Rue de Saint Peres, the Paris armchair is presented for the first time. A chair that soon becomes iconic, delivering great functionality and meeting the needs of the evolving office environment. The piece was interpreted by Aldo Rossi as a domestic space for work.
Progetto 25 by Luca Meda is one of the first partition systems developed by UniFor: an equipped wall that collects and distributes cabling and is able to organize and offer hierarchy to spaces.
Jean Nouvel designs the Fondation Cartier in Paris, with UniFor creating the furniture. This is how the Less series was born, an icon in the world of design. In the following years, UniFor increases the series of desks, proposing new finishes and a bookcase.
Aldo Rossi designed the spaces of the Bonnefanten museum in Maastricht. This is how the Cartesio bookcase and the Museo chair were born. The Consiglio table, created in 1991 for Aldo Rossi's studio in Milan, will also be displayed inside the museum.
Presented at EIMU '93, as a system for prestigious office space, Naòs went into production and was updated with new proposals and finishes, which were able to successfully incorporate the evolving use of office space. In 2010, the system was improved with modular aluminum bookcases.
Compasso d'oro ADI XVII edition Coordinated image UniFor - Pierluigi Cerri
Luciano Pagani and Angelo Perversi design the modular Flipper tables, created for dynamic environments and allowing for various different uses. Flipper is born in symbiosis with Move workstations, which complete it from a functional point of view. The system was later updated with new finishes, colors, and divider panels, as well as the ability to adjust the height of the work surface.
Compasso d'oro ADI XVIII edition Move/Flipper Luciano Pagani Angelo Perversi.
Alvaro Siza designs for the first time the table Régua for an exhibition at the Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza in 1999, of which UniFor is Technical Sponsor. The exhibition was a huge success and traveled to other locations, prompting the creation of new variations, together with a bookcase that Siza decided to use for other projects. Both the table and the bookcase were put into production, defining the idea of the office according to Álvaro Siza: a simple, functional, and domestic space to work in.
Parisian designer Andrèe Putman designs with UniFor the Parete AP.
Naòs System was created to define new work scenarios and organize simple, clean line environments where the widespread use of technology is not intrusive. The system, designed by Studio Cerri & Associati, is expressed in three products: the conference table, the task table and the library table. A line of individual desks conceived for managerial staff, executive offices, and small meeting rooms, completes the system
The MDL System by Michele de Lucchi is created. This system is made up of lightweight, functional modular components designed to meet the need for greater flexibility in shared working environments, where a variety of situations coexist and change over time.
Compasso d'oro ADI XX edition Naòs System - Studio Cerri & Associati
Renzo Piano designs the Parete RP, a full-height partition system made in different modulations. The system is agile and can be disassembled and reassembled, in order to adapt to new conditions. RP is not, however, the architect's first reflection on the theme of the wall. In 1985, he was commissioned by UniFor to rethink the office wall with a very thin and relatively heavy wall. His answer was Le Mur Mince, an extremely smooth multi-material partition, which did not provide the possibility of integration with the furniture but offered only overlapping relationships.
Dante Bonuccelli designed the Libreria CF. A bookcase made up of aluminum shelves and uprights hooked together and fixed to a sheet steel base. A product in constant evolution, it is customizable with special equipment and accessories designed to meet specific project needs
Bloomberg inaugurates the new headquarters in the heart of Manhattan, UniFor provides over 4000 workstations.
Not only work environments, but also cultural environments. In 2007, the Musée du Quai Branly is inaugurated in Paris, designed by Jean Nouvel. The furnishings are provided by UniFor.
A rational, flexible and comfortable working environment structured in a non-hierarchical manner. This is the project of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop for the New York Times, designed by UniFor.
Moodway by Fernando Urquijo is a program of executive furniture with rigorous and essential design elements, developed in order to meet the needs of high-level work environments and demonstration spaces. These elements, like the previous ones, Mood and Easy Mood, are designed to facilitate the use of an active but not invasive technology and are characterized by highly technical, performance and ergonomic aspects.
Formal rigor, transparency and flexibility are the distinctive features of the offices of HQ Campari in Milan, furnished by UniFor.
In Losanna, the Rolex Learning Center, designed by SANAA brings together an extensive range of spaces offered to the students, the faculty and the public. Among the numerous multifunctional areas stands a comprehensive library showcasing the collaboration with UniFor for the interior solutions.
Compasso d'oro ADI XXII edition – Design protagonist.
With LessLess Color, UniFor has developed a new image for the contemporary office, where the various elements can be combined with great compositional freedom even with respect to color. As Nouvel himself stated, “putting color back into our lives, especially in the workplace, means restoring the possibility of variety, relaxation, re-appropriating spaces, as well as achieving a measure of uniqueness and well-being. In short, color is more fun.
In 1999 Piero Molteni asked Jean Nouvel to imagine an alternative workspace to traditional office furniture systems. The architect responds with a vision of the office as spontaneous architecture, where everyone can create their own personal environment through the accumulation of blocks, the assembly and placement of personal objects. This is how the Cases system was born, which started to be a series product in 2013.
UniFor furnishes the Milan office of Hearst Magazines. The distribution exploits the benefits of the technological envelope: the open-plan workstations are aligned with the windows of the facade and illuminated by natural light, while an adequate number of closed offices in the center, allow one to work quietly and conduct small meetings.
In collaboration with Foster+Partners, Element Office Collection was created, a line designed to interpret the needs of smart working and the fluid nature of the contemporary office, where the need for flexibility is increasingly evident.
Jean Nouvel designed the Philarmonie de Paris, which completes the ambitious project of the Cité de la Musique in the Parc de la Villette, in the north-east of Paris, and relies on UniFor for the interior design.
RPBW designs the new Parliament of Malta, in Valletta. UniFor takes care of the interior design and creates an exclusive, functional and comfortable place.
The new headquarters of the prestigious international law firm Covington & Burling occupies a strategic position in the center of Washington with a view to the White House, confirming the leading role of UniFor in the realization of legal offices.
The Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation opens in Milan. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron. UniFor creates the furnishings, all of them bespoke.
RPBW and Studio Betaplan design the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens. UniFor takes care of the furnishings and internal partitions.
The monumental complex of the historic Hôpital Laennec in Paris, built in 1634 at the behest of Cardinal de La Rochefoucauld, houses the new headquarters of the Maison Balenciaga. UniFor was entrusted with the installation of the work spaces, which also produced the partition systems
Michele de Lucchi designs the interiors of the new UniCredit headquarters in Verona. The furnishings, all bespoke, are made by UniFor.
Another project with RPBW, this time in New York. UniFor participates in the construction of Columbia University, providing all the partition systems for the Jerome L.Greene Science Center.
For the Korean HQ of Amore Pacific, whose realization is curated by David Chipperfield, a new partition system is born: DCA Wall.
The headquarters of the Qatar National Library in Doha, designed by OMA, is an iconic building of great architectural impact and furnished with standard and bespoke UniFor products. More than 3000 square meters of glass walls, 325 CF libraries and Naos system and iSatelliti s200 workstations.
Oodi, the Central Library of Helsinki, designed by ALA_Architects, is entirely furnished with more than 350 modules of Libreria CF. UniFor thus confirms its leading role in the development and implementation of furniture systems not only in the field of work environments, but also in cultural spaces.
Signum, a system of height-adjustable open space professional workstations, was created for ONEX's London office, designed by Studio Gensler.
UniFor celebrates its 50th anniversary with a prestigious multi-media installation at Palazzo di Brera, cured by Ron Gilad, which is also an opportunity to present Touch Down Unit, the new autonomous workstation.