Arco Floor Lamp

Brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed the Arco floor lamp for the Italian lighting company Flos in 1962. The inspiration for the design came from a street lamp.

When, later in his career, Achille Castiglioni became a professor at the Politecnico di Milano, he was known for telling his industrial design students, “Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means.” He was often inspired by everyday objects and made use of accessible materials. “Design demands observation” was another one of his many mottos.

The Arco lamp functions just like a street lamp in that it provides a great amount of light; unlike a street lamp, however, it provides a precise lighting experience. The satin-finished stainless steel-shade extends almost sev- en feet to illuminate a dining table or sofa beneath it. Achille knew that a heavy base was needed to hold the long adjustable arch and swiveling shade—he decided on a vertical white Carrara marble base with a hole in the middle, which makes it possible to move the 78-pound lamp with a broom handle.

The Arco lamp is commonly seen on well-designed movie sets and in the permanent collection of renowned museums like the MoMA.

Share The Inspiration