The world of materials and large formats is undergoing rapid change –how do you approach your major projects?
We believe that our expertise in creating large installations is the key to attracting major clients with substantial projects worldwide. Russia, for example, is a market which, in spite of the crisis that we have been talking about for years, has a strong design culture and is showing signs of openness in the medium and long term that should be carefully observed. On 27 March, Laminam opened its third production site in Russia. We chose Russia because many large contractors operate there, handling redevelopment projects and infrastructure projects such as kindergartens, football fields and skyscrapers. This is just a small example to show that we can achieve major projects in large cities by liaising with experienced professionals who are capable of quickly understanding the quality of Laminam material.
It also takes a little entrepreneurial courage: we began to market Laminam in Russia in 2012 and two years ago we took the first steps towards building our factory. We have a historical partner in Russia with whom we came to an agreement and we managed to pursue the same goals. Large slabs are the present, but they above all represent the future: it is not only a trend in ceramics, but also in the glass industry, which makes even larger sizes than we do.
You are collaborating with Toto to create eco-slabs – how is this working out?
Our partnership is progressing very well – the product is highly suitable for outdoor surfaces since the Hydrotect treatment, with the help of sunlight and rain, creates a defence against smog. The machinery for the application of this treatment is at the production line and, as often happens when a country becomes aware of the importance of pollution decreasing and takes action, others follow suit. One of the first countries to understand the importance of this product was Poland, which has a lot of modern buildings – it is worth visiting it to observe the quality standards that we have achieved.
There are many materials designed to protect outdoor surfaces. Many enemies, much honor?
It is not a war and indeed it is better to have competitors when operating in this market. Competitors are fundamental: we observe, compare and improve each other and consequently sell better. We use porcelain, a 100% natural material compacted in thicknesses of 3mm, 5mm and 12mm. Laminam has its own distinctive, recognizable identity that also represents one of the first arguments proposed to support the value of the product and service.
You have partnerships with Scavolini for kitchens and Lualdi for doors – do you have other important partnerships?
I should mention Modulnova, with whom we have worked for two years and which will present a new addition at its showroom at the 2017 Salone, a kitchen that features our Seta slab, which we will present at Workplace3.0.
We have numerous collaborations, including with Calligaris, Tribu and Royal Botania, to name a few.
Two architectures, one external and one for the interior. The more spaces diminish, the more competitors increase: what makes Laminam special?
Our product can have countless applications, from large facades to the interiors, kitchen tops and vertical decorations, in which the slab is used like wallpaper: thus, the same material can be used in various environments with specific desired characteristics and, despite the large size, it is easy handling and processing.