Construction Today - November 2017 - 79
The Origami model is a cantilever
staircase of minimalist design
made from Cor-Ten steel.
Banisters for spiral staircases can be
chosen from any of Marretti Stairs' existing
models. However, since a banister is not a
structural component of the staircase, it can
be installed without it. The feasibility of
each staircase is confirmed by an inspection
of the conditions of its environment.
When customers decide on a product,
they generally want it right away. "One of
our biggest concerns is time," Marzi says.
"Everyone wants everything yesterday.
But these are custom-designed staircases
and they could take between three to six
months to create. There's a lot of engineering involved and all of our staircases are
manufactured in Italy so it takes time to
ship them as well."
But the fact that all of Marretti's products
are made in Italy is also a big selling point,
she adds. "It really sets us apart," Marzi says.
"I think Americans really appreciate the
beauty and quality of our products."
In the United States, Marretti's largest
clients tend to come from the East Coast and
West Coast. But the company is beginning
to see a move inland towards the Midwest.
"It's a growing market," Marzi says.
Marretti attributes a part of its success to an
ability to design and manufacture staircases
that break design limits and dictate new
rules. "To succeed, every kind of material
is admissible and every kind of invention
allowed: glass turns into rock; steel becomes
invisible; wood proves to be a link to the
stories of distant countries," the company's
The company sees its staircases as not only
linking the levels of a building, but as a link
between ideas and dreams. Founded in 1914
by Maurizio Marretti, the company started as
a family business that made wooden wheels
for horse carriages before the automobile
entered the transportation market.
When cars became more than just a
toy for the rich, Marretti had to reinvent
his business. "They had to transfer their
knowledge into something else," Marzi
says. "Since they knew how to work with
wood, they started doing railings for staircases - and that's how we started in the
industry of staircases."
That was in 1921. Since then, the company has grown from a small business in
Florence to a globally recognized artisan of
staircases. Still family owned, the company
has a factory and technical office in Florence.
This is where every step takes shape, first in
the design form and then in the selection of
raw materials and the painstaking process of
engineering tailor-made creations.
Though they may share an engineering
concept, each Marretti staircase is unique.
The company is now in its third-generation
of family ownership.
Mauro Marretti, the son of Maurizio,
designs most of the company's staircases
and banisters. Roberto Marretti, Maurizio's
grandson, is the head of the engineering
department. Mauro's two sons, Andrea and
Francesco Marretti, also work for the company. Andrea works in sales and Francesco is
the head of the production department.
NOVEMBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM