Afra and Tobia Scarpa Artona table and Africa chair

When solid industrial design meets the strong material that is wood, the result is a unique, made in Italy decor. It’s the Africa Maxalto chairs, born from the creative genius of Afra and Tobia Scarpa. The chairs date back to 1975, while the Artona series dates back to the 1980s. Even at that time, they were innovative and simply different.


Maxalto is a brand founded in 1975 alongside B&B Italia. The brand was born under the artistic direction of Afra and Tobia Scarpa. The term Maxalto derives from the Venetian dialect “Massa alto,” which means the highest. The brand’s aim is a revisitation of the past, keeping the highest craft and material quality. This collaboration between Afra and Tobia Scarpa and the Italian brand comes after the “Coronado” sofa and the “Bonanza” lounge.


Their innovation came from the designers’ experiences. The Maxalto collections are functional, and they feature prestigious products. The form is also at the center, with different shapes that combine to create pieces of interior design that look like art. And what’s behind the art? Passion and love for the materials and the creative process itself.


Wood’s Imperfections are Perfect.


The main protagonist of both the Africa Maxalto chairs and the Artona Maxalto series is wood. It’s a primary material, a strong representative of everyday life. With these design collections, it has become a living material, from the forest right to the home office or the living room. It’s the life of the wood that never stops being fashionable.


Afra & Tobia Scarpa "Africa" Dining Room Set for Maxalto, Composed of Four Chairs and Table, 1976


Each piece is unique. How is it possible? Thanks to the designers’ understanding of the wood. Afra and Tobia Scarpa appreciate each imperfection of this material, and they exalt it. Each joint, shade, motif, and detail is worthy of attention. So, the designers shone a spotlight on it, enriching the wood with industrial materials like cast iron and leather.


Afra and Tobia Scarpa Artona Bed for Maxalto


The Africa Maxalto Chairs


There is always a place for these chairs, in each room and with each style. The viewer’s eye needs time to take in each detail of this Maxalto chair, brought to life thanks to hours of dedication and attentive craftsmanship. The Africa series features superimposed multi colors, juxtaposed motifs, and detailed finishing. The joints aren’t something to hide, but they are a quality of the wood.


It’s a genuine connection with the material, which enhances the space it sits in. Depending on the light falling on the Africa Maxalto chairs, the joints and details change shade, and they are impossible to miss. This is a piece of design that never goes out of fashion.


Creation of an Africa chair by Afra and Tobia Scarpa


The Artona Maxalto Collection


This is another series that never goes out of fashion. Always signed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa, this collection is another example of unique craftsmanship. It features tables, desks, and case goods. The inspiration is solid industrial style, and wood is once again the protagonist. Hence, the office becomes glamorous and a pleasant space to live in.


Artona big storage unit


It’s a contrast of colors and materials, from the warmth of the walnut to the coolness of the iron cast feet. Then, the prestige of leather and delicate Brazilian rosewood. Each detail is unique, and the contrasts melt together, creating a harmonic table and desk. They all melt in perfect harmony, thanks to the designers’ understanding of the materials.


Artona display cabinet


The style of these collections features peculiar details and prestigious products. Afra and Tobia Scarpa created art in the 70s and 80s, showing the aficionados of interior design that design can be fun and chic at the same time. Old and new can finally meet in the joints of the wood and its imperfections. The perfect imperfections.


Artona storage unit


Wood, leather, cast iron, and plate glass tops combine like a puzzle to make a unique and wholesome creation. Maxalto’s philosophy doesn’t give up on fantasy and creativity because there isn’t only one way to create exclusive interior design pieces. Instead, interior design is about finding the perfect balance between different and complementary elements.


The full collection includes:


  • Africa chair, 1975
  • Table, armchair, sofa and bed, 1975
  • Meeting table, 1976
  • Coffee tables, shelf, bookcase, and display case, 1977
  • Corner unit, tables, coffee tables, and box seat, 1982
  • Cabinet, 1983
  • Table and sideboard, 1984
  • Tables and chairs, 1985
  • Swivel bookcase, 1987
  • Tables, 1990
  • Bed, nightstand, and chair, 1990


Afra & Tobia Scarpa "Africa" Dining Room Set for Maxalto, Composed of Four Chairs and Table, 1976

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