a mix between shelf and sideboard: these two wonderful sixties pieces come from bbpr’s ‚arco‘ office furniture system for olivetti. architects and designers banfi, belgiojoso, peressutti and rogers (bbpr) were graduates of the milan polytechnic and are among the most important representatives of italian rationalism of the 1930s. bbpr is considered one of the first architectural firms to operate fundamentally as a collective, placing joint creative achievement above the emphasis on individual contributions: „every idea is always our idea“. a very sixties attitude and a sign for a true workshop of modernity. important team projects were, e.g., the torre velasca in milan, the italian pavilion at expo ’58 in brussels and a whole range of functional furniture designs – such as chairs for arflex, lamps for artemide and office furniture for the olivetti synthesis company.
the ‚arco‘ system included desks, side desks, machine tables and storage furniture. the modular character works with a painted steel frame in different sizes, added hanging plastic drawers or metal shelves and tabletops in hard plywood. our pieces have angled legs and adjustable hexagonal feet in black, a shelf box in stove enameled gray/beige steel and tabletops in sturdy molded veneer plywood (german: „pagholz“) with a rosewood finish. versatile and practical, with an industrial elegance – and more sophisticated than any coffee table for your coffee table books.
good condition, wear consistent with age and use, metal has some patina. label imprint underneath the tabletop: olivetti arredamaneti metallici & the „greek spiral“ logo of 1954; sidedesk dimensions h: 68,5cm (26.97in.), w: 88cm (34.65in.), d: 38cm (14.97in.)
about olivetti (german only): https://www.md-mag.com/news/meinung/olivetti/
the olivetti archives: https://archividigitaliolivetti.archiviostoricolivetti.it/en/