Sketch and technical drawing
Interview with Vico Magistretti in Italian – Magistretti e l’Italian Design
Early Atollo Table Lamps
New Atollo Table Lamps
Links (external links open in a new window)
Oluce website: www.oluce.com
More about Vico Magistretti on the Oluce website: www.oluce.com/en/company/designers/vico-magistretti
Interview with Vico Magistretti on Designboom: www.designboom.com/interviews/vico-magistretti/
Article in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2006/oct/18/guardianobituaries.artsobituaries
The Atollo table lamp at the MoMA Museum: http://www.moma.org/collection/works/4029
Oluce Atollo Table Lamp
Materials: Maroon metallic painted aluminium. White painted on the inside. Bakelite sockets.
Height: 70 cm / 27.55”
Width: 50 cm / 19.68”
Base: ∅ 20 cm / 7.87”
Electricity: 2 bulbs E27, 2 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb with an E27 screw base can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Vico Magistretti (October 6, 1920 – September 19, 2006)
Manufacturer: Oluce, Milan, Italy.
Other versions: Made in different sizes and materials. Recent and new versions are also made in white crystal hand blown Murano glass.
This is an original of 1977, with the original dimmer, completely made of aluminium.
Oluce Atollo 233
This is perhaps Vico Magistretti’s most famous lamp, which most effectively sums up his design approach to this kind of object.
The Atollo table lamp is composed of two main parts. Firstly, the pattern of simple geometric figures, which seems to translate the old-fashioned lampshade into a small abstract structure thanks to its perfectly balanced overall proportions.
The interplay of the light, which is concealed beneath the cap, leaves the latter in the shade on the outside, while it lights up brightly both the inside and upper conical element of the base from which the vertical cylinder emerges.
This creates both direct and indirect light, which reflects around the surroundings with various degrees of intensity. The bearing structure and cap are connected by a very thin attachment which makes the cap look almost as if it is suspended in the air.
Described in 1000 Lights Taschen 2005 Vol.2, page 282-283.
“The extremely pleasant lighting enhances and is enhanced by the simple geometric form of the overall construction, which has no unnecessary frills or features. This characterizes most of Magistretti’s lamps, whose elegant proportions and stylistic composure make them perfect “domestic characters”.”
Taken from: “Vico Magistretti architetto e designer” written by Irace Fulvio, Pasca Vanni, (1999), Milano, Mondadori Electa.
For many years, Magistretti was art director and chief designer of the Oluce company, conferring his unmistakable stamp and a legacy of worldwide recognition. Kuta, Lester, Nara, Idomeneo, Pascal, Dim, Sonora, Snow, and especially Atollo – all became names that instantly called to mind the corresponding product. Atollo even became a sort of template, a graphic silhouette that immediately rendered the concept of a “lamp”.
Vico Magistretti Foundation
Via Conservatorio, 20, 20122 Milano, Italy
Visit the studio museum and discover more about Vico Magistretti work as designer and architect. The studio museum is open on Tuesday, on Thursday and on Saturday. More info on the website of the museum: http://www.vicomagistretti.it/en/museum/practical
For many years now, Atollo has no longer been a lamp, or rather, it has no longer been just a lamp. It has become a myth, an icon: one of the best know symbols of Italian design worldwide, one of the very few products which people recognise and call with its own name.
Designed by Vico Magistretti in 1977, it was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1979 and became, since then, part of the permanent collections of the world’s major museum of design, as well as part of the furniture of many homes of those who love and are able to select the things surrounding them.
Atollo’s secret probably lies in the geometrical construction of its shapes: the cone on the cylinder and the semi-sphere above all. A luminous sculpture from which nothing can be removed to which nothing can be added. And which nothing can copy.
Drawing taken from the Dutch 1982 book: Chriet Titulaer – Computers. Wat moet je er mee? (Computers. What should you do with it?) – The office of the future has a computer on every desk (in the year 2000).
The Oluce Atollo table lamp was used as a prop in Salamander, a Belgian drama television series that was first broadcast on Eén on December 30, 2012. Also broadcast on the BBC, RTBF and Netflix.