Arco, a design icon

Flos Stories

The Arco Lamp is a design icon that has stood the test of time. It was designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni and his brother Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, two of the most important designers of the 20th century.

The Castiglioni brothers were known for their innovative designs that combined practicality with a playful sense of humor. The Arco Lamp is a perfect example of this approach. The designers were inspired by the problem of how to provide overhead lighting without drilling holes in the ceiling. Their solution was a floor lamp that could provide the same kind of illumination as a ceiling light.

The Arco Lamp features a long, curved stainless steel arm that extends out from a heavy marble base. The base, made from a single piece of Carrara marble, provides the necessary counterweight to the long arm. The arm can be adjusted so that the lamp can reach anywhere in the room, providing direct overhead light.

The lamp's design was revolutionary at the time and it quickly became a symbol of the modernist design movement. It was one of the first examples of a product that was both a functional object and a piece of sculpture.

The Arco Lamp is still in production today and is considered a classic of modern design. It is included in the permanent collections of major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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A lamp for the centre of a room, that didn't need to be in the centre of a room - Arco.

This ingenious floor lamp is one of the most imitated design icons ever.

The Arco Lamp features a distinctive curved design for a very practical reason: to provide overhead lighting without the need for ceiling suspension.

The designers wanted to create a lamp that could illuminate a dining table or a central area in a room without having to drill holes into the ceiling for a traditional pendant or chandelier. The solution was a floor lamp with a long, curved arm that could reach over the space needing illumination.

The curved stainless steel arm of the Arco Lamp extends approximately 2 meters from its marble base, allowing it to cast light directly downwards onto a table or seating area. This innovative design provides the functionality of a ceiling light but with the flexibility and portability of a floor lamp.

The heavy marble base is in fact nothing more than a counterweight to support the big arched metal stem, which was inspired by street light design. And the hole at the base's centre of gravity wasn't put there for decoration, but to make it easier to lift the base by pushing something like a broom handle through it.

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Sixty years on, still in continuous production

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Arco floor lamp - which coincides with Flos's own fiftieth birthday - Flos has paid tribute to its best known lamp, now an iconic design throughout the world, by releasing a new version with LED light source.

More recently, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Arco floor lamp, Flos released a very special version with a crystal base. This is a limited edition version of the iconic light, and is the only version of the Arco to deviate from the traditional marble base.

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