The light fantastic

The new FontanaArte flagship store opened recently in Milan, in the centrally located Corso Monforte: a warm, welcoming space in which lights, created by some of the most important names in design and architecture from the past, are joined by contemporary lamps from the company’s newest collection by a generation of emerging international designers.

The furnishings, the floor covering (in vinyl textile made from renewable raw materials) and the pastel walls (covered with pictures from the FontanaArte historic archive) are the elements that help to create an intimate, almost private dimension, in a location that is public by definition, with an unprecedented design attitude for a lighting store. The soft, rounded lines of the niches, housing the lamps along the walls, give off a warm light. Echoes of works by Gio Ponti, who together with Pietro Chiesa founded FontanaArte in 1932, can be seen in the use of folding walls which, in a modern makeover, open and close to suit the showroom requirements.

For the opening, the four light-filled store windows featured two totems – inspired by the art of Tony Cragg and Katharina Fritsch – which are the metaphorical representation of the columns that hold up the company.

The first totem is made of Fontana and Uovo lamps that stand for its history: both lamps, in satin-finish blown glass, are two real FontanaArte icons. Designed by Max Ingrand in 1954, Fontana is the table lamp par excellence, while Uovo, with its unmistakable shape, is from a sketch found in the company’s historic archive in 1972.

The second totem is a composition of colourful Bloms by the young Norwegian designer Andreas Engesvik, reflecting a new international language.

This FontanaArte flagship store, designed by architects Fabio Calvi and Paolo Brambilla, represents a space that connects past and future, in perfect continuity, a place which interprets the FontanaArte philosophy: the real light in a beautiful home.

For more info, visit 

ALL ABOUT FontanaArte

Founded in 1932 from an idea by Gio Ponti, FontanaArte is one of the Italian companies that have written the “history of lighting and furnishing” in Italy and around the world. It had involved the most important architects and lighting designers, who together with the company have built a cultural project on architecture, lighting and furnishings: timeless objects, with splendid shapes, some of which have become design classics on show in the most important museums around the world.

In 2010 FontanaArte has been part of Nice S.p.A., an international benchmark for integrated systems for automation and protection of homes.

For FontanaArte, its new partner provides the opportunity to develop a solid industrial base for the future and provides the strategic research base needed to evolve a new international language.