About Artemest
The Artisan

Annibale Colombo: 200 Years of Craftsmanship

Boasting an incredible know-how in the art of woodworking, for 200 years Annibale Colombo has been expression of excellent craftsmanship and innovative techniques. Discover the story of the company and its perpetual evolution from the beginning to the present.

​The story of ​Annibale Colombo begins in 1812, when the master carpenter Filippo Colombo, founded his small workshop in Brianza to design high-quality cabinets and furniture for the Milanese clients, fascinated by the exquisite style of his wooden artworks. In the following years the company grew up, taking its actual name and moving into its modern headquarter, designed by Afra and ​Tobia Scarpa and devoted to the production of high-quality cabinetmaking.

Here, industrial processes characterized by forefront technology and masterful craftsmanship skills, guardians of history and tradition, are combined to give life to exclusive design pieces, realized using superb materials and boasting a deep heritage of inlay and carving techniques. Take a closer look to Annibale Colombo’s story and discover the philosophy behind the production.

Annibale Colombo’s story began more than 200 years ago in a small workshop founded by Filippo Colombo. What have been the pivotal moments, from the beginning of your journey up to today?

The company Annibale Colombo was founded in Meda about 200 years ago when Filippo Colombo started handcrafting antique-style furniture for the contemporary Milanese bourgeoisie in his small workshop. The company has been located since 1971 in modern headquarters in Novedrate surrounded by a luscious park. It is organized in such a way as to have industrial facilities with innovative technologies offering a high degree of flexibility, all the while still preserving the artistry and knowledge of the ancient and exquisite handcrafted finishes that make our products sold and appreciated around the world. The flagship showroom remains in the historic headquarters in Meda, housed on several floors and intended for industry experts, design studios, and architects. Over the years, the initially classic production has expanded and complemented with contemporary collections, also thanks to collaborations with various national designers.

Your know-how is expressed through the art of cabinetmaking, in a skillful combination of craftsmanship and production technology. How has the process of designing and creating Annibale Colombo signature pieces evolved over time?

Throughout all these years, Annibale Colombo has advocated and continues to uphold the criteria of history and memory. Such an endorsement shines through its creations, always recognizable for the materials - especially wood, marked by a long aging process, precise joints, and sanding and polishing using ancient and skilled methods - as well as for the inlay and carving techniques. Our production is also very mindful of maintaining respect for the environment: the wood is sourced from reforested areas, and we use natural aniline stains, polish with shellac, and finish with beeswax, which besides effusing a pleasant scent, also has an antiseptic property, protecting the wood from dust and parasites.

The Annibale Colombo brand boasts several collaborations with prominent national designers. How does the relationship with creative people start and develop?

The company has an in-house structure that offers design solutions separate from our mass production as well as develops and executes external projects. In both cases, we act as a proactive partner, providing the company know-how and making ourselves available to the independent designers to evaluate and implement any solution. Over the years, we have carried out prestigious projects in various parts of the world, executing extremely diverse works, taking into account the needs of customers with dissimilar tastes and cultural backgrounds, as well as the different architectural and environmental characteristics.

Annibale Colombo’s long history represents a real legacy for the company. In your opinion, what is the future direction of Made-in-Italy craftsmanship? How will Annibale Colombo respond to these new prospects?

Our production must continue to be carried out with the utmost dedication, paying close attention to details at every stage - quality and design - and creating products that combine new technologies with manual processes, all made in Italy.

Is there a product or collection that most represents your values?

Among our numerous collections and products, the New Quadro modular line is particularly representative of our values. It was created starting from a fixed module, the unit of measurement from which springs an infinite range of compositions: a “picture” (quadro in Italian) that can be replicated until the desired design is obtained, either in classic or contemporary styles.