Throughout his 40-year career, the Milanese architect Achille Castiglioni authored 190 architectural projects and 290 pieces of industrial design, most of them with his brother Pier Giacomo. 14 of them are part of the MoMA permanent collection. The Castiglioni Brothers designed all kinds of products: tables, armchairs, appliances, cutlery, radios, telephones, and even switches. Following the lead of their older brother Livio, who specialized in lighting design, Achille and Pier Giacomo are particularly renown because of their lamps.
They, together with Afra and Tobia Scarpa, were in charge of the product design, communication strategy and corporate image of Flos, the Italian lighting company founded in 1962 by Dino Gavina and Cesare Cassina. The Castiglioni Brothers designed their best-known lamps for Flos, such as the Snoopy table lamp, the Taraxacum hanging lamp or the Toio floor lamp. The Arco floor lamp, designed in 1962, is undoubtedly the best known among all their products.
Arco is a synthesis of elegance, genius and simplicity. An object that does not add, but multiplies the initial value - economic, aesthetic and symbolic - of the three objects that it assembles, creating something newStefano Boeri, Fare di più con meno, 2012
The Arco floor lamp was created with the aim lighting a table from above without hindering the movement around it nor hanging anything from the ceiling. To do this, as they already did in their Mezzadro seat, they assembled three elements with heterogeneous shapes and materials: the alluminium pendant, which hangs two meters high, a long steel tube arch that covers a two-meter span and a prismatic base of white Carrara marble weighing 65 kilos that works as a counterweight.