Design Classic: Arco Lamp

Sixties elegance and sophistication in a solid piece of design.

Designers: Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Details: From £1,603, Flos at The Conran Shop

The inspiration for this mid-century icon was the urban streetlamp which unobtrusively does its job from above while also keeping its feet firmly on the ground. Developed in 1962, the Arco chimed well with the mid-century aesthetic of keeping things long and low. It soon took supporting roles on screen in films such as The Italian Job and Diamonds Are Forever where it came to symbolise modern sophistication. It achieved this through the gentle sweep of the arm, counterbalanced at one end by the lampshade and grounded at the other by the block of solid marble. With wiring contained within the arm, it suggested that fixed overhead lighting might soon become obsolete.

Both the Castiglioni brothers were trained as architects, their philosophy being that as a designer you should be a problem-solver. The arching arm is secured to a white marble base that weighs over 60kg, with a hole for a stick (such as a broom handle) to be inserted, enabling two people to carry it from room to room.

Its genuine Carrara marble base acts as a counterbalance for the arched stainless steel stem, while the generous sweep of its neck creates a sculptural display.

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