Altro has announced it will be celebrating 100 years in business this year after it was founded in 1919 by a small group of individuals.
The company now has more than 900 employees globally, with a heritage of inventing safety flooring, developing a hygienic walls system and creating the world’s first adhesive-free safety floor.
Richard Kahn, Altro’s CEO, and the third generation to lead this Hertfordshire-based family company, said: “One successful innovation could be luck; repeated success needs a little help. We’ve always known that speaking with, listening to and partnering with customers, end users, contractors, engineers and designers is the key to getting what we do right. It’s allowed us to be bold and to explore design and functional possibilities, without losing sight of who we’re doing it for.”
Altro’s first safety floor was installed in 1950 in a church hall in Nottingham. Remarkably, that same flooring is still in place and when last tested still rates PTV≥40, meaning it has kept users safe for nearly 70 years.
Altro has also developed sparkle-free safety flooring which has reportedly transformed design for dementia, and Altro XpressLay the world’s first adhesive-free and fully recyclable safety flooring.
Altro shares its centenary with the Bauhaus design school, which was also founded in 1919 and is based in Dessau just a few hundred metres from Altro’s German site. In developing the new Altro Ensemble modular flooring collection, the design team was said to have taken inspiration from the Bauhaus philosophy of bridging the gap between form and function to engineer products that meet the customers’ biggest challenges, such as the need for cleanability, sustainability and flexibility.
Richard concluded: “While the world in 1919 couldn’t seem more different from today’s, our excitement at embracing and developing new technologies and ways of working is exactly the same as back then. Add to this that we remain a family business, with family values and I think you have the reason why we’re here today, celebrating our centenary.”