In 1943, Antonio Almerich Villanueva founded the company named after him, which specialised then in classical lighting. The effort involved soon proved worth it; in a short space of time, its products had became world-renowned and highly respected, thanks to their appealingly warm and very individual qualities. In the 60s, collections of small furniture were added to its lighting portfolio. For Almerich, this move opened doors on to the global market, in particular Germany, where its goods are hugely popular to this day.
Notable among its most classic products is its lamp called Tradición, which the company started selling when it was founded. Alabaster and Murano glass, used in its Laurel and Vera collections, have also contributed to the firm’s success. And its Elegance lamp is its latest best-seller.
The small furniture in brass and methacrylate, such as consoles, tables and mirrors – Versalles, Jónica and Minotauro being best-selling examples – also drove up sales from 1978 to 1998. Today, the company continues to manufacture furniture, for example, its Trocadero collection.
The firm made further progress in the 90s, when it decided to add a new line of contemporary furniture to its range. In order to do so, it began to collaborate with a group of studios and freelance designers from different countries. Such diverse names as Miguel Milá, Luis Eslava, Yonoh, Ricard Ferrer, Nadadora, Herme Ciscar and Mónica García, Mermelada Estudio, Azúa Moliné and Christian Vivanco all now collaborate with the company. Since then, Almerich has invested in designer pieces in the interests of producing exclusive and original work, all of which is modern, innovative and accessible.
One brilliant result of this major investment by the company in cutting-edge lighting, created by cherry-picked designers, is the Blow collection, whose lighting graces a multitude of hotels and business premises. The company’s other commercial successes include its pieces Boomerang, Face to Face, Maya and the adjustable table lamp Cap.
The company’s business plan is currently biased towards public projects and spaces. Almerich’s cutting-edge lighting is not only regularly featured in the international press but also in countless public places, such as an exhibition hall in Switzerland, restaurants in Canada, Germany and the UK, and hotels in such European cities as Berlin, London, Copenhagen, Barcelona and Valencia. Even several chains of European shops use its lighting for its concept stores.
Its most classical pieces grace many public spaces. One of the firm’s most recent projects is the Conrad hotel in the Algarve, Portugal, which Almerich supplied with 12 1.5-m diameter ceiling lights. Another large-scale project was its provision of a synagogue with six lamps, each 3m in diameter, fitted with 91 lights and weighing around 300 kilos. Also worth mentioning are various of its designs for several of the Russian government’s buildings and for private homes and palaces, many of whch are in the Persian Gulf.
Almerich has just unveiled its latest designs at the trade fair Hábitat Valencia, held at the same city where the company’s based. These were created in collaboration with young design studios, such as Mermelada Estudio, which has dreamt up a ceiling light called Rainning Day, that comprises three shades inspired by Far Eastern umbrellas, as well as a wall light that’s part of the existing Maya collection.
The company also launched its ceiling light Hood, a simple, accessible pendant light called Core – a minimalist piece chiefly intended for the contract market – and the highly evocative Medusa lamp. Two further additions to their newest products are the standard lamp Tower, created by the design studio Hugo Tejada and inspired by old water tanks in cities, and Envelope, a versatile wall light.
Export director Teresa Almerich speaks thus of the company’s plans for expansion.
‘We’re stepping up our business activity abroad, for example, we’ve set up offices in Germany and Romania. The western European market has a whole network of independent retail outlets and, through building up good relationships with the best clients, we’re trying to conclude some deals with them. We’re planning to create a new catalogue of Almerich Classic products which we’ll unveil at the Euroluce lighting show at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2013. We’d like this to represent a key turning point for us in terms of content and design. Our Almerich Contemporary Design line is proving highly popular, too, in the contract market, and our products are being chosen for several international projects. And finally we’re very sure that we’ll grow even more in markets where we already have a presence, for example in eastern Europe.’