Flos manufactures exclusive luminaires available in three different collections: Flos Architectural, Flos Home and Flos Outdoor. The Italian company was founded in 1962 by Caesare Cassina and his business partners Dino Gavina and Arturo Eisenkeil as a manufactory in Merano, in the middle of the South Tyrolean Alps. In the neighborhood of Trauttmansdroff Castle with its legendary terraced gardens, Flos is committed from the beginning to the realization of visionary lighting designs, initially Italian designers. In an exclusive and very close collaboration with the design brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, luminaires are created such as the Arco arc light, the Toio ceiling light, the Relemme pendant light or Taccia, the table lamp that may resemble a searchlight.
To this day, these lamps belong to the Flos Home collection, which in addition to these and other design classics by Tobia Scarpa and Gino Sarfatti also are also designed by contemporary designers such as Philippe Starck, Ron Gilad, Jasper Morisson, Antonio Citterio, Michael Anastassiades, Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec or Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who have the makings of design classics of tomorrow. The Flos Home collection is absolutely unique in its variety and design and undoubtedly forms the heart of the Flos lighting world.
When Sergio Gandini joins the Flos company in 1963 and takes over the management of Flos, the head office is relocated from Merano to Berscia. Here, in Brescia, just two hours’ drive away, Lake Garda and, above all, design-savvy Milan are not far away. The perfect location for the triumph of Flos lights. More a light laboratory than a lighting manufacturer – Flos stands out in the scene clearly from the mainstream and competitors. The innovative approach and experimentation with new materials and techniques produce luminaires such as Fantasma by Tobia Scarpa, Traxacum 1 and Traxacum 2 (also Cocoon Traxacum) by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni and their lighting design Viscontea from 1960.
But the courage Gardinis also contributes to the fact that lights such as the suspended luminaire 2097/50 designed by Gino Sarfatti in 1958 or the floor lamp Luminator by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni from the year 1954 are produced until today. The daring pays off and so Flos is repeatedly honored in the course of his considerable company history. Above all, the “Compasso d’Oro” prize awarded in Italy plays a central role here. Flos receives it for the lights Drop, Luminator and Parentesi as well as for their successful company history.
Ceiling lamps, table lamps, floor lamps, pendant lamps and wall lamps– the Flos collection supplies design lamps for every purpose and place. Due to the merger with the Spanish company Antares (named after the brightest star in the constellation Scorpio), the Flos subsidiary, Flos Architectural, was created in 2005. The focus is on the development and production of modern (basic) lighting solutions and lighting concepts for private homes and professionally used spaces such as educational institutions, offices, medical practices, museums, trade fairs, hotels and restaurants as well as retail outlets. The merger will not only benefit the Flos Architectural collection. Likewise, state-of-the-art LED technology finds its way into the Flos Home and Flos Outdoor collections.
“As never before, today’s task is to find the synthesis of emotions, technology, poetry, needs, messages, and aesthetic and political values,” explains Piero Gandini, then Flos Managing Director, for the launch of the Flos Outdoor collection. It’s not just about changing technology, but also about society itself and our behavior, both in the public and private spheres. This idea is translated to luminaires such as the KTribe F3 floor lamp by Philippe Starck, the light sculpture Fenestra by Flos, the floor lights Casting and Casting Concrete by Vincent van Duysen, Landlord Ground, Landlord Soft and Landlord Spot, Climber and Camouflage – all by Piero Lissoni – just to name a few.
Incidentally, Flos comes from Latin and means “flower”. Here’s a quote from Gandini that illustrates the philosophy of Flos Outdoor, also representing Flos Architectural and Flos Home: “We must go beyond our ability and imagination to improve people’s lives … with the same poetry the ancient flame of a campfire under the stars. “
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