When two creative brothers come together, they create something unique. As unique as the Arco lamp for Flos, developed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962. The two brothers represent the avant-garde Italian design movement born after World War II. From the handmade and intricate details of traditional design to the modern linearity of industrial style.
The Castiglioni family was a family of artists and creatives, from the sculptor father to the older brother Livio, an architect. Achille and Pier Giacomo focused primarily on design, creating alternative pieces of furniture and objects. They loved experimenting and combining different materials, such as wood and aluminum, to produce elegant and functional pieces like the Arco lamp.
The specs of this unique piece
From the outside, it looks like a simple floor lamp. A structure, a bulb, and a base. But there is much more to it than what meets the eye. In perfect Castiglioni brothers style, the Arco lamp for Flos features two opposing yet matching materials: white marble of Carrara and metal. Traditional designers would have never dared to combine them, but Achille and Pier Giacomo dared to try it. And their experiment was a success.
The base is made of marble, while the pole is the metal part. It ends with an arch. The stainless steel pole is made of three juxtaposing pieces that fit each other, making the lamp adjustable and versatile. People could adjust the pole just like they could adjust the light’s direction. Specifically, the three heights of the reflectors. The final piece of the Arco lamp for Flos is the dome, made of two elements. One is fixed and with tiny holes for the cool down. The second part of the lamp’s dome is a steel ring, just on top of it.
Versatile and functional, this lamp by the Castiglioni brothers was perfect for readers, workers, and even diners. In fact, its unique character made it perfect for all types of spaces and atmospheres, from the private home to the office. With these designers, anything is possible. Even putting an industrial-style lamp in a family’s living room.
The story behind the Arco Lamp for Flos
The idea of the two brothers was to create a comfortable and modern floor lamp, easy to use and adjust. Hence, the shape of the arch. Then, they had to solve the issue of weight, hence the elegant and Italian solid marble. Everything has a function, even the rounded edges of the base, perfect to avoid any hitting of the toes. The inspiration? The street lamps.
Thanks to its characteristics, this lamp was an instant success worldwide. So much so that, in over 40 years of production, design companies barely made any changes to the Arco. Between 1962 and 1982, over 40,000 lamps of this collection were sold, even in Japan. Japanese and Italians alike loved the lamp’s comfort. They could move around it, play with it, and read under it without having to worry about too much (or not enough) light.
The Arco lamp for Flos represents the values of Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, who created industrial-style pieces made for practical yet aesthetic purposes. They didn’t want to give up anything, not on quality and not even on functionality. This lamp responds to people’s needs of being comfortable while having an elegant-looking piece of furniture.
So, what’s the result when two creative brothers put their minds together? The Arco lamp for Flos, of course. But their collaboration produced so much more. A couple of passionate brothers can create a lot, indeed.