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Interview with Sonae Arauco, sponsor of InterCIDEC Awards 2021


Sonae Arauco is one of the main producers of wood-based panels in the world for the furniture and interior design sector.

Here we present Juani Marín, head of prescription and contracts for the southern area of Spain, within the company Sonae Arauco. Sonae has become a reference point as it is one of the world’s leading wood-based panel companies, and its main mission is to offer solutions that improve people’s lives.

BF: Well Juani, tell us what Sonae Arauco can offer to the interior designer or architect who is carrying out a hotel renovation or directly to the hotelier.

JM: Sonae Arauco is a manufacturer of products derived from wood, we manufacture both chipboard and MDF in standard and waterproof and fireproof and in turn these products are coated in melamine. We are also manufacturers of HPL, so we can provide the interior designer or architect with a wide range of solutions for any of their projects.

BF: And what new products is Sonae Arauco presenting this year?

JM: Sonae Arauco renews its collection of decorative designs every four years and this year we have brought out a wide range of new products, which will be released throughout 2021, but one that stands out is our ‘Feel Light Grey’, which is a decorative design that simulates a natural felt that is really very successful, it has a Cosmos finish that we presented two years ago.

BF: We think the product you have just mentioned is very innovative, and in this sense, what is the added value that Sonae brings to the hotel sector?

JM: Well, Sonae Arauco is a manufacturer of wood-based panels in melamine, but at the same time, all of its wide range of decorative portfolio, are in HPL, so you can find any of the melamine solutions at the same time in our so-called high-pressure products, so that any project can go from start to finish.


BF: Can you tell us about the distribution channels that Sonae Arauco has opened recently?

JM: We have commercial agreements with the main distributors throughout Spain who keep a stock of about 40-50 references, so that any architect or interior designer who wants to do a project that is not major, can find a small amount of boards in any of their projects in this type of distributors.


BF: With regard to the previous question, could you comment on the markets in which Sonae Arauco is currently most present?

JM: Both, myself and my colleagues in the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain and Portugal, are working in working groups in which we are very integrated in the retail sector. Both in the retail sector, as well as in the hotel, residential, student residences and nursing homes, so we are covering a wide sector.

The Cosmos finish won the "Iconic Awards 2021", setting new standards for wood materials.

BF: What are the most important recent awards that Sonae Arauco has received in relation to the company’s activity?

JM: Recently, Sonae Arauco has received the Icon Award 2021 with the ‘Feel Light Grey’ in Cosmos finish, from Germany. In addition to this award, which has made us very happy, we have also received another award, which is the 3DF.


BF: Juani, can you tell us what is ‘3DF’?

JM: The 3DF board is an MDF board whose special feature is that it is manufactured with a negative pole sheet and what it does is to leave a relief on top, on the surface of the board, which is very different to find in the sector and can be used for any decorative solution and would look wonderful. 


BF: How is the collaboration with interior designers at Sonae Arauco?

JM: The collaboration of both my colleagues and myself is that we collaborate with the entire network of national architects and interior designers, both large and a little smaller, in order to be able to take on projects ranging from small to large projects such as a hotel or a residential development.


BF: Continuing with the topic of collaboration with architects and interior designers, we would like to hear about your most recent successful projects.

JM: Well, we have a wide range of projects that we have carried out in recent years, but one of the most distinctive is a business school in Lisbon in which a large part of our portfolio has been integrated, and both the auditorium and the rest of the school have been wonderful. Another of our significant projects has been to collaborate with an important interior designer in the south of Spain to make the hospital of San Juan de Dios in Granada, in which in the auditorium was used one of our star products which is MDF melamine colour in HPL and the truth is that it has been wonderful. And another of the big projects executed this year, has been in the restaurant takumi in Marbella. This restaurant is a very different restaurant on the Costa del Sol that has given us a lot of joy.


We were the first to launch an anti-bacterial board. Our mission is to work with sustainable materials for all our products.

BF: Given the situation generated by the health crisis we are going through, have you adapted your products to the new needs, have you created a specific product for this?

JM: At Sonae Arauco we have a very important mission which is to work all our products in a sustainable way, and years ago it was very curious, because we were the first to bring out an antibacterial board, which at that time had no great implication at the time of manufacture, however, today it is something that should be implicit in any of our productions and our boards are certified antibacterial. 

BF: Finally, can you tell us what you think of InterCIDEC as a platform for connecting interior designers, manufacturers and hoteliers? 

JM: As you know, we have been working together for years and at Sonae Arauco we think this kind of initiative is wonderful because it is a good platform for connecting the chain of architecture, interior design, manufacturers and projects, so we will continue to collaborate with you and support this initiative which we think is marvellous.


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