“We are but dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants”. With this admonishment, Bernard of Chartres informed his disciples that if today we can peer further into the distance, it is only because of the stature and triumphs of those who came before us. This is as true of scientific knowledge as it is of corporate history, and especially so at family-run
firms. What lies behind us is not just time that has passed: it is a vital cornerstone of the present day, handing down heritage of matchless values – values that could not be reconstructed any other way, nor be imitated.
The Margaritelli family has a century of working with wood behind it. Uniquely, the family has been associated with wood since its earliest days. The start of this virtuous journey, on which the quest for quality and respect of the environment have always been intertwined, all began with woodcutting in the forest.
The lifecycle of an oak forest spans a timeframe in the order of between 150 and 180 years, equivalent to around seven human generations. Forestry firms must be far-sighted: they have to rely on the continuity provided by family history, on experience handed down from generation to generation.
Bernard of Chartres’ admonishment is particularly true of the Margaritelli family, which has continued building on the solid foundations laid by Eugenio Margaritelli. In 1870, Eugenio began specializing in forestry work. Later generations of the family followed in his footsteps, until in 1962 the family built a plant at Fontaines, in Burgundy.
The family’s history is indissolubly bound up with the history of the forest: the roots of the Listone Giordano brand go deep into tradition, and now span three centuries, four generations, and a long-term vocation for the uniqueness of wood as a material.
A vocation that starts with logging, gradually embracing every phase of forestry, processing and wood transformation, ultimately arriving at the manufacture of a unique product that is the result not just of heritage and technology but of the very history of this family (if not to say the history of forests).
The Group’s commitment to protecting forestry heritage and to responsible wood manufacturing reached its apogee with “This is my forest”. This commitment runs all the way from Burgundy to the heart of Umbria, between the municipalities of Piegaro and Città della Pieve, where Listone Giordano has undertaken a major reforestation exercise, planting more than 22,000 oak trees on around 160 hectares of woodland, for which it has obtained PEFC and FSC sustainable environmental management certification.
Since 1984, the Margaritelli family name has been indissolubly linked with the name of Guglielmo Giordano, an engineering expert in wood technology who patented an ingenious invention of multi-layered wooden flooring that offers far more than traditional parquet in terms of stability, balance and precision, not to mention beauty and elegance.
Wood technology, aesthetic research, respecting nature and an authentic commitment to the heritage of Italian culture, art and stylish living have been the drivers of the family’s rich vein of innovation. This veritable USP has seen the creation of unique products and brand values, some of which are tangible and immediately visible, while others are intangible but no less concrete and vital to the firm’s success. One of Listone Giordano’s foundational pillars, albeit perhaps one of the less self-evident ones, is the firm’s ongoing quest for a synthesis between elements that are not always easy to reconcile: aesthetics and ethics, external beauty and substance, appearance and essence, veneer and pulp. These concepts translate into the creation of harmony between man and nature, industry and environment, technology and health.
In 2000, Listone Giordano’s pioneering spirit led to the establishment of the Guglielmo Giordano Foundation. The company set up the Foundation to operate in spheres associated with scientific research and the famous Italian technologist’s cultural interests. The Foundation promotes historical and technological study and research into the world of wood, interacting with the art world through seminars, conferences, major exhibitions and publications.
In 2008, Listone Giordano ushered in a major new development with Natural Genius, a scheme to encourage and promote partnerships with architects and designers. This marked the Group’s entry into the architectural world, to which it brings not just its flooring but also its values and vision.