Fifth generation furniture entrepreneur Alessandro Lualdi delves into the design of luxury doors.
By Jennifer Seligman
“We are unique because of one thing: quality.”
LualdiPorte is a historical company that specializes in the design of extravagant but sleek interior doors. The roots of the Italian brand can be traced back to Alessandro Lualdi’s grandfather, Bruno Lualdi, who started out by manufacturing both window frames and tailor-made furniture in the 1960s. It wasn’t until he started to focus on the design, development, and production of interior doors that his company really began to blossom. Thanks to a collaboration with famous Milanese architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni, the Lualdis were able to break through the market with a revolutionary product, and thus, LualdiPorte was born.
Currently headed by Alberto Lualdi, president of the prestigious door company and uncle to Alessandro Lualdi, the LualdiPorte brand is known for great innovation and design with a strong emphasis on the technical process of the construction and production of interior doors. “In the 1960s, door choices were very limited and of basic quality,” says Lualdi. Because of the lack of premium door choices at the time, the Lualdi family decided to change the focus of their company to high-quality, luxe doors, filling a gap in the market.
LualdiPorte has joined forces over the years with many renowned architects worldwide including Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, Antonio Citterio, and Caccia Dominioni, which has brought the company to the forefront of the high-end market. This has also allowed them to develop distinctive and innovative levels of design and technology reflecting contemporary interior design trends, like rounded edges, the absence of joints, full reversibility, and the use of telescopic frames for easy installation. LualdiPorte’s innovative design has made them a reference point for the interior design of residential and commercial properties and a first choice of the world’s most celebrated contemporary architects.
“We are unique because of one thing: quality,” says Lualdi. “Quality in material, and in production. We give a door something more than other companies,” which enables them to offer a superior product and a high level of service for their exclusive clientele.
LualdiPorte has more than 10 different product lines with varying finishes and constructs their products from diverse and distinctive materials. “We use the best woods, like beautiful oak and zebra wood, and we also offer the option of tempered glass, aluminum, and leather,” explains Lualdi. “We produce only 30,000 doors per year, and we do it with precision and quality.” LualdiPorte pays close attention to the finish of their doors, offering attractive options like their high-gloss polyester finish, one of the features that has made LualdiPorte famous worldwide. A large portion of the production of a Lualdi door is handmade by ebanistas (highly-skilled craftsmen specializing in woodwork), ensuring that each step is executed to perfection. Prices range from $1,500 for a basic door to $8,000 for a leather model with a wood core, although the average door sells for $2,000. Custom-made doors are available and can cost as much as $15,000 to $20,000. LualdiPorte also manufactures millwork, completing their range of offerings with partitions and panels of the same high-quality door material.
Both residential and commercial spaces are fair game for LualdiPorte. The company deals with clients on an individual basis as well with as architects, builders, and interior designers, and often takes on very large commercial projects, providing anywhere from hundreds to thousands of their luxury doors. In London, LualdiPorte has created product for many world-renowned companies including Gianni Versace, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley. They have worked with other notable international companies such as the Bulgari Hotel, Armani, Gucci, Rolex, the Milan Stock Exchange, and the Italian Automobile Club in Milan, Italy, Prada Luna Rossa in Valencia, Spain, and U.B.S. in Switzerland.
LualdiPorte recently expanded to the United States with a luxurious showroom in Coral Gables, Miami. The 4,000-square-foot space is designed by renowned Milan architect Emanuela Frattini Magnusson, who conceived the Lualdi showroom as a museum-quality viewing space. Lualdi felt that it was important to have a U.S. presence, and considers Miami the nation’s epicenter of design. Locally, Lualdi doors can be found at the residences of Fisher Island and at the Grosvenor in Coconut Grove. They will also be installed at developer CMC Group’s Epic building in downtown Miami.
“In Italy there are some strong competitors,” says Lualdi, “but I don’t really see companies like ours in the U.S. The door is something that you use a lot, which is something that Italians understand; it’s a very active art.” Although LualdiPorte is relatively new to the United States, they have already designed doors for Zegna Corporation, Max Mara, and CitiBank in New York as well as for Ameritech in Illinois.
As LualdiPorte grows, they plan to continue their expansion in order to reach new markets by taking on new clients, opening more showrooms around the globe, and opening a new factory just outside of Milan. LualdiPorte has successfully begun to make its mark in the U.S. by focusing on the highest quality products and services, and will eventually manufacture doors for private jets, which will allow their customers the luxury of true Lualdi door-to-door service.