It’s headed for 60 years of age, but its potential is still being revealed. Mara, a reference point in the production of furnishings for offices and public spaces, seems immune to age because it constantly looks to the future from the viewpoint of research, technology and innovation. Founded in 1960 by Camillo Marchina as a company specializing in the construction of metal frames for chairs, over six decades Mara has expanded its range of action, not only in terms of production but also of geography, becoming a sought-after brand in as many as 70 different countries. The firm is helmed today by the second and third generations, respectively Luciano and Laura Marchina, who have conserved its original values (research and technology, quality, sustainability, service) while striving for growth, internationalization and digitalization.
The challenges of the 21st century have led the Brescia-based company to redefine its production processes and design philosophy, in step with new trends in living and new concepts of workspace: hybrid, flexible, interconnected, open facilities, for which Mara offers integrated, modular, adaptable collections suitable for a wide range of environments and needs.
This modus operandi has met with positive results on the market, boosting sales by +25% in 2019, with 150,000 products manufactured.
Follow collection by Mara
“Today’s offices are becoming living spaces where people have their own environments, but are also interconnected by a variety of other facilities in which they can converse and share, working individually or in groups, but also resting and thinking.” Starting with this awareness, Mara has formulated its vision of the future: “To help people to have a sense of wellbeing in these spaces, improving health and performance,” Luciano and Laura Marchina say. How? The answer lies in systems and mechanisms, integrated and patented, which determine the character of furnishings by Mara.
The Argo and Timmy collections are good examples: space-saving tables, with fold-back tops and collapsible legs in different forms and sizes, for the hybrid, dynamic spaces typical of modern offices. Offices are thus no longer individually structured spaces, but places to gather, discuss, interact and collaborate.
Argo table Libro by Mara
Industry 4.0: it all stars here
18,000 square meters of production facilities, 500 tons of metal processed every year. Two numbers that can suffice to convey a sense of the great commitment and investment involved in the production process, applying technically advanced machinery of the latest generation to boost competitive advantage on the market. Already in 2012 the company completed the digitalization of the whole production process, moving towards the creation of a 4.0 industrial company.
“We have recently installed a completely automated vertical warehouse, a welding robot of the latest generation, a new fiber laser cutting machine four times faster than its predecessor, to improve production flow and reduce energy consumption – the owners explain. – In 2020 we will install two other important machines, including a laser cutting unit for 3D workmanship, which will permit production of objects with absolute precision, all completely automated and connected to all our management systems.”
This variegated range of systems permits Mara to give form to increasingly sophisticated objects, while implementing larger workloads on an even faster schedule than ever before. These improvements make the company an ideal counterpart for the world of design: Mara can boast of many outstanding references in this sector, from offices – like the Hivos headquarters in The Hague, and the Hugo Boss Industries facility in Coldrerio, Switzerland, designed by Matteo Thun & Partners – to public services (the Conference Centre of the National Sports Campus in Dublin and Scuola Pascoli in Turin), hospitality (the recently completed Star Bakery in Livorno), or theaters and museums (including a role in the prestigious project for Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris).
Exploded system of Libro by Mara
Detail of Timmy Tilting by Mara
In 1984 Mara filed its first patent for a mechanism used in office seating. Research and Development is a key focus of the company, paying close attention to the invention of new technologies, many of which are not already available on the market, foreshadowing requirements and trends.
Today the firm holds a lot of invention patents and utility patents, “a synonym not only of constant research to respond to the needs expressed by the society, but also of the desire for protection against counterfeiting and copying.”
Detail of Argo Libro by Mara
This is the case of Follow: an built-in patented mechanical system allows this innovation collection to adjust the top height (from 680 to 1180 mm), at any time, quietly and without the need for electrical outlets. 100% recyclable, as it is composed exclusively of steel and nylon, Follow collection is available in many models – fixed version, version with folding top mounted on a structure with castors, double desk version and round version – such as to support different
working positions. Thanks to these reasons, the collection was recently honored by the European Commission “for its unique technological excellence” through the program of research and innovation Horizon 2020.
An exemplary case, but not the only one: the space-saving folding tables are equipped with a built-in patented anti-shock system that protects the hands of the user during the opening of the table.
“We pay close attention to compliance with European standards in terms of safety, quality and reliability. In fact, all our products are tested both in-house, in the first phase, and by certified, authorized agencies, ensuring that we can offer our collections of products in market segments oriented towards public spaces – says Laura Marchina. – The award from the European Commission confirms that the direction we took years ago of continuous innovation and research was a winning choice.”
Antishock System by Mara
From the company to the product: sustainability
Loto collection by Mara
The quality of corporate processes corresponds to an interest in environment impact in relation to every phase of operation, from design to production. Respect for the environment, sustainable development and intelligent consumption are terms that have become part of an everyday language. In action, they translate into maximum attention to raw materials, reduction of waste of energy and material, differentiated disposal and the reuse and recycling of scrap and refuse.
“The company has invested in renewable energy sources – the owners of Mara explain. – At present we autonomously produce 65% of the energy required for production. The roofs of the production facilities, since 2012, have solar panels capable of powering the machines used inside the plant. During that same year, we began the replacement of all the electrical devices with new ones for energy savings.”
This green philosophy permeates every aspect of the company, as well as its collections, designed and created to last in time: every product can be easily disassembled and recycled at the end of its life cycle.