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Design Icon: Flos Arco
Why is the Flos Arco Floor Lamp one of the most replicated design classics of all time? We’re here to tell you.
Please note: The Flos Arco Floor Lamp is currently in-stock for super-speedy delivery.
First designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni and his brother Pier Giacomo, the Arco Floor Lamp for Flos quickly became a firm favourite with design enthusiasts thanks to its unusual and unique appearance.
Achille Castiglioni (pictured left) was one of the most important industrial designers of the 20th century, producing more than 150 products for Flos, Zanotta and others during his career. Pictured right is his equally talented brother Pier Giacomo.
One of its most distinguishable design features is the semi-circular arch ('Arco'), which holds the height-adjustable aluminium shade. The arch can be swivelled to suit your specific lighting needs, making the Arco a highly flexible product.
The chunky base is made of solid white Carrara marble, which is sourced from the quarries in the town of Carrara in the Italian Alps. This particular marble has been sourced and sought-after in Italy since the Roman times and continues to be utilised for the most sophisticated of designs.
In 2012, an advanced LED edition with a dimmable function was born to mark the 50th anniversary of this much-loved design classic, making the Arco even more desirable than it ever once was.
The streetlight for the home
Will this design solve a problem? This was one of the first questions that Achille always asked himself when establishing ideas for a new design — if he deemed a design unnecessary, then it simply wasn't worth his or any potential consumer's time. Time is precious, after all.
The Arco solves a particular problem that just about everybody will have once encountered in their home — complex wiring.
Sketch of the design processes behind the Arco.
Here are where streetlights come in. Streetlights project light a considerable distance away from the base, providing far-reaching and diffused illumination. Achille recognised the potential of modelling a design on the streetlight and from there produced the Arco, which projects light 8ft from its marble base.
As the Arco functions as both a floor lamp and an overhead light, this takes away the need for complex wiring that most ceiling and pendant lights require. A simple idea, but nonetheless absolutely genius.
Don’t copy my style
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, which might explain why the Arco Floor Lamp is one of the most replicated design classics of all time.
Type ‘arco reproduction’ into Google and you’ll be only a few clicks away from a lower-priced alternative, but without the genuine features that make the original Arco so special. The liquid-like shine of the pressed, polished and zapon-varnished aluminium shade? Dulled. The elegant swoop of the iconic satin-finish stainless steel arch? Fragile. The premium quality of the original Italian white Carrara marble base? Nowhere to be seen.
If you want to be sure that you’re purchasing the original Arco, then you can trust in us.
The name’s Bond, James Bond
Nothing says effortless cool quite like the James Bond films, of which the classic Arco has featured in 2 — Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger.
The Arco has also appeared in the Italian Job and Iron Man, which are also 2 of the most slick, modern and action-packed of films. An appearance that is well-suited to the Arco’s style, we say.
Pass the broom
With such a heavy marble base (would you believe that it weighs over 65kg?!), you’d have to be pretty strong to lift the Arco Floor Lamp with your bare hands. This is why Achille — in his usual humorous fashion — incorporated a hole within the base of his design, so that a broom handle could be slipped through for 2 people to carry it. Genius or madness? Definitely a bit of both.
The beauty of the Arco is that each individual design will always be different from the next, with subtle variations in the authentic Carrara marble.
Want to purchase an original Flos Arco Floor Lamp for yourself? The Arco is currently in-stock ready for super-speedy delivery — purchase today with Nest.co.uk.
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