Design Moment: Arco light, 1962
Inspired by street lighting the Arco light rises from a heavy marble base to give it balance
The Arco light was designed in 1962 and has been in production since - a sign of its enduring appeal
Designed in 1962 and in production since - a sign of its enduring appeal - the Arco lamp by the Castiglioni brothers, Achille and Pier Giacomo, is as statement a light fixture as you’re likely to see. The Italian design duo were inspired by public street lighting, where the lamp hangs far from its supporting pole, and their Arco lamp features a large stainless steel arc elegantly rising from a sleek white Carrara marble base, heavy enough to give the structure balance and to support the polished aluminium shade at the other end.
The bulbous shade is height adjustable so it can offer both indirect and direct light. The corners of the tall rectangular base are bevelled to remove any sharp shin-skinning edges and the strategic hole is in place to allow for easy lifting. The height extends to slightly more than 2m allowing people to walk under it as they approach the sofa or dining table.
The Arco light is now part of a permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.