The History of Sto

Sto's headquarters in Germany symbolizes the company's dedication to innovation, energy efficiency and the building technologies of tomorrow.

Sto's headquarters in Germany symbolizes the company's dedication to innovation, energy efficiency and the building technologies of tomorrow.

The global giant now called Sto evolved from humble beginnings as a cement and lime factory in Weizen, Germany in the 1830s. More than a century later, entrepreneur William Stotmeister expanded on this operation by introducing a range of revolutionary resin wall coatings, and Sto ultimately evolved into an international technology leader in the design and production of innovative external wall insulation systems, rainscreen cladding, decorative coatings and acoustic systems for regulating room noise.

Now operating as STO SE & Co KGaA, in Stuhlingen, Germany, the parent company launched operations in the U.S in 1979, establishing Sto Energy Conservation in Vermont. In 1986, North American expansion continued in California and Texas and eventually into Canada. In 1987, in order to centralize operations and accommodate unprecedented sales volume, Sto Corp. North American headquarters were moved to Atlanta — also the site of a major new manufacturing facility. In 2014, the company launched operations in Brazil and Chile.

Today, Sto Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of exterior thermal insulation systems, encompassing 35 subsidiaries, more than 5000 employees, and 21 factories operating around the globe. The company has consistently been on the technological leading edge, investing heavily in scientific research and product development.

This has resulted in a stream of innovations, including the introduction of the first exterior wall cladding system offering continuous insulation in 1963, and product breakthroughs such as the first liquid-applied air moisture barrier (2000) and Sto’s patented StoCoat® Lotusan® coating with self-cleaning properties (2005).

The company focuses on supporting the needs of the architecture and design community with educational services such as its London-based Werkstatt exhibition space, AIA/CES professional courses and the aesthetic consulting services provided by Sto Studio in the U.S.

For over 60 years, Sto — still controlled by the Stotmeister family — has continuing to develop innovative, next-generation building and design solutions based on superior product performance, professional expertise and success in building strong relationships through knowledgeable, customized service. Sto wall systems, coatings and finishes continue to be the choice of leading architects, designers, engineers, contractors and building owners around the world.


A London Architect Ponders the Connection Between Digital and Physical Worlds

Sam Jacob Studio created an installation based on the humble shed.

Sam Jacob Studio created an installation based on the humble shed.

For London’s Clerkenwell Design Week this year, Sto Werkstatt (Workshop) invited Sam Jacob Studio to create a unique innovative installation at the Werkstatt’s gallery space. Jacob’s One Thing After Another became a project that explores the inputs and outputs of information between the digital and physical worlds.

The installation started with an ‘original’ piece of architecture – a garden shed. This was then 3D scanned to create a digital copy, which was then processed and scaled to fabricate a new CNC’d version from Sto’s lightweight construction material called Verolith, made of 90% perlite, a type of volcanic stone. One Thing After Another argues for an understanding of the possibilities of digital production that go beyond the blandly futuristic. Instead it suggests that new technologies can open up a wide array of design possibilities.