Aching for Arco

When I first fell in love with modern lighting design, it was because of the Arco Floor Lamp by Flos. There’s just something about it: that sweeping slender curve, gleaming metal sprouting from marble. Not to mention the appealing cache of its decades-long reputation. Designed by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos Lighting back in 1962, Arco continues to be a modern lighting favorite to this day.

The design itself is quite simple, made of just three distinct components: a rectangular block of marble, a single arcing stem and a dome-shaped shade. But its the sum of these parts that gives Arco its timeless appeal. The marble base is heavy, straight-lined and textural, providing literal and figurative balance to the curved stainless steel stem and aluminum shade.  And as nice as it looks it photographs, nothing beats seeing Arco in person. It’s huge. The shade is more than a foot around, and the curve can arch nearly 8 feet high and extend more than 7 feet out. Yet, as expansive as it is, Arco’s slimness means that it doesn’t take up much actual floor space.

Its modern design is also unexpectedly versatile, useful in traditional and modern designs alike. It might have been a lucky coincidence (although I doubt it), but in just a couple of hours of browsing recent architectural and interior design blog posts I found no fewer than four instances of the Arco being used in modern interior design projects. Not only is the number of instances impressive, so is the variety of locations and settings. The love for Arco is truly world wide.

Here it is hovering over a dining room table in a converted oil mill in Mallorca, Spain:

Dining Room, Restored Oil Mill by Durval Dias Junior; Algaida, Mallorca, Spain (photo courtesy of 1 Kind Design)


Adding elegance to an office space at George Patterson Y&R in Melbourne, Australia:

Office Space, George Patterson Y&R by HASSELL; Melbourne, Australia (photo courtesy of Contemporist)


Illuminating an apartment living room in Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia:

Living Room, Apartment at Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia (photo courtesy of desire to inspire)

And in the living room of Villa Beige on the Thai island of Koh Samui:

Living Room, Villa Beige; Koh Samui, Thailand (photo courtesy of Freshome)

Isn’t it awesome? With all of these rooms, you get the feeling that their designs wouldn’t be nearly as impactful if the Arco wasn’t there adding its unique style. That being said, there is plenty more of each project to see. Check out the following blogs if you want to read on:

Restored Oil Mill in Mallorca at

George Patterson Y&R at

Surry Hills apartment at

Villa Beige at

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1 Comment

  • I only see the real deal on the first and third photos. But even so, they could be unlicensed faithful reproduction (not a genuine Flos).

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