Laminating history

Abet Laminati has opened a museum to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The displays, at the company’s Bra factory near Milan, are organised chronologically to take the visitor on a historical tour of laminates in design.

Over the years, the company has worked with some of the world’s most famous designers including Karim Rashid, Ettore Sottsass, Giulio Iacchetti, Alessandro Mendini, Philippe Starck and Francois Brukhardt together with new designers such as Bethan Wood.

The museum, designed by architect Matteo Scalise, comprises 600 square metres and includes over 137 pieces of art which demonstrate the versatility of high pressure laminate. Visitors can study how the results of the dialogue between manufacturer and designer have evolved over time and, as the tour progresses, how they became more imaginative and intricate. It also includes information about Abet Laminati’s culture of research, innovative experimentation and creative concepts.

The pale-blue facade of the museum and the multi-coloured bridge that connect the two main galleries are both clad in MEG panels, a self-sustaining, high-pressure decorative laminate designed for exteriors. The entry hallway features laminated walls printed with the names of the many designers and design companies that have worked with Abet’s products.

The museum grew out of a desire to create a refined collection of laminate styles, colours and shapes for what Gio Ponti once described as “An extraordinary material for architecture developed by man”. It is dedicated to leading company figures Enrico Garbarino and the late Cesara Mazzola Garbarino, president of the company until 2011.

Samples and technical literature are available from Abet Ltd’s sample line on tel: 020 7473 6915 or visit