Flos Architectural, Italy
A catalogue filled with iconic lighting that changed the concept of illumination itself
Strong symbolic appeal
Collaboration with the most inventive international designers
Uncanny ability to spot emerging talent
Courage to be daring and provocative, yet uphold the fundamental principles of design
Constant dedication to research into innovative materials and technology
A vast selection of high quality, innovative lighting designed to fit and enhance any environment, ranging from basic all the way to luxurious
Products and projects carefully designed and developed to provide perfectly balanced lighting for any space
Strong commitment to customer service; time-proven dedication to study and develop lighting systems to fit the style of any environment, indoor, outdoor, public or private as it may be
The ability to evolve without losing sight of its birthright
Well structured growth, to support ever increasing sales, keep abreast of emerging socio-cultural trends in keeping with the original principles of the company
A time-honored, proven reference
Great design and cutting-edge lighting technology that are immediately recognizable
The origins of the Company
Flos was founded in 1962 in Merano by Dino Gavina and Cesare Cassina, who wished to produce modern lighting.
To develop new lighting concepts, they enlisted the aid of Achille Castiglioni, Pier Giacomo Castiglioni and Tobia Scarpa. One of the first materials they experimented with was cocoon, a very pliable material made in the USA. In 1964 Sergio Gandini joined the company, and the headquarters were moved to a new site near Brescia. The first Flos retail store, designed by the Castiglioni brothers (Achille and Pier Giacomo), opened in Milan in 1968. Pino Tovaglia designed the logo, and Max Huber the catalogues.
Growth and evolution of the Company
In 1971 Flos opened its first subsidiary in Germany. In 1974 it purchased Arteluce, a historical brand founded in 1939 by Gino Sarfatti, and opened a new factory in Bovezzo, just outside the city of Brescia.
The collaboration with Achille Castiglioni continued through the '80s, and in 1992 he introduced the "family of products" concept to the market with the Brera series.
At the same time, Flos continued to scout for emerging talent at an international level. In 1988 the Company started collaborating with Philippe Starck. Other talented designers followed thereafter: Jasper Morrison, Konstatin Grcic, Marc Newson, Antonio Citterio, Marcello Ziliani, Marcel Wanders, Sebastian Wrong, Laurene Leon Boym, Piero Lissoni, Rodolfo Dordoni, Tim Derhaag, Johanna Grawunder, Joris Laarman, Knud Holscher, and Patricia Urquiola.
During the '90S the Company expanded its contract-related presence, launching a division focused on turnkey solutions.
Piero Gandini, Sergio's son, has been Flos President and C.E.O. ever since 1999.
The tradition of collaborating with highly-talented professionals also extends to Flos promotional activities. Its image and advertising campaigns are entrusted to famous international photographers like Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
The architectural sector
In 2005 Flos firmly established its presence in the architectural sector by acquiring the majority share (75%) of Antares, a Spanish company specialized in lighting devices. The wedlock between a Spanish manufacturer of mass-retail products and an Italian producer of high-class interior design lamps led to the creation of Flos Architectural Lighting, which combines cutting-edge engineering with suggestive lighting design. The first Flos Architectural catalogue, made by the GBH team in London, made its debut at the 2006 Light & Building Expo in Frankfurt.
In 2007 Flos inaugurated its first professional space in Milan, on Corso Monforte. The two-level office and showroom space occupies 574 square meters. Its design is characterized by extremely clean lines. On the first floor, gray Diamond stone pavers run along both sides of a suggestive cloister to perfectly highlight its original arcade; a series of large vertical-rising windows in the reception, showroom and meeting room open onto the adjacent cloister. The basement level houses a relaxation room, and the "electronic heart" of the operation, where one can experiment with all the different types of mood-setting lighting.
In 2008 the corporate policies were defined and compiled in a detailed company manual intended for retailers, further demonstrating the special care the Company bestows upon the identity of the brand.
The quality, performance and safety of the lighting products made by the Company are guaranteed by extremely accurate tests conducted in the photometric lab of the company according to the Enec and UL international standards.
The reliability of the company is guaranteed by its being ISO 9001 certified.
Aftermarket sales are supported by a constantly updated spare parts catalogue.
What the Company offers
Today Flos is an international organization that offers a complete range of residential, commercial and even custom-made lighting products that can be seamlessly integrated in any office, hotel, or store, together with a specifically designed line of informative materials, among which a corporate manual.
Flos contract division assists architects with the know-how it acquired over its forty years of experience not only as a manufacturer, but also as a specialty lighting systems designer for a wide-range of challenging environments, such as museums, stores, and theatres.
The catalogue showcases items that now rightfully belong to the history of design: forms, lighting techniques, original design concepts invented by Flos, readily acclaimed and adopted by consumers across multi-cultural areas and eras.
Among these: Parentesi by Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù; Arco and Taraxacum of Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni; Miss Sissi, Archimoon, the Romeo series and the Ktribe series by Philippe Starck; the Glo-Ball series by Jasper Morrison; Skygarden and Zepplin suspension lights by Marcel Wanders; the 2097 chandelier by Gino Sarfatti; Ray by Rodolfo Dordoni; Kelvin by Antonio Citterio with Toan Nguyen; Nebula by Joris Laarman.
Five time winner of the Compasso d’Oro Industrial Design award:
1955 for "Luminator" by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
1979 for the "Parentesi" lamp by Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù.
1994 for "Drop" by Marc Sadler.
1995 Outstanding Company award.
2001 for "May Day" by Konstantin Grcic
Winner of the IALD-Annual International Lighting Design Awards for the Hotel Intercontinental in Geneva
Among the most recent and prestigious: Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Hotel Intercontinental in Geneva, the City of Amsterdam archives, the Dongione (a historical landmark tower built in 400) near Alessandria…
Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Denmark, Norway, USA, Japan and Singapore
Flos retail stores across the globe
Rome, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong, Stockholm and Kuala Lumpur
Italian luminaire maker Flos is now producing walls - that light up, of course.› To the article
Milan, before the ash came – part 2
Admittedly, the borders of the Zona Tortona are a little frayed at the edges and in the new design district Ventura Lambrate designers are pushing into an area where artists once thronged, but there is a great deal to be discovered here. And, when all is said, when it comes to furniture design, things do tend to go around in productive circles.› To the article
Light in a tube – KAP designed by Antares
With white, gold, blue and black, shiny aluminium reflectors they create a variety of light effects. KAP is the name of the new built-in spots from Flos Architectural.› To the article