Axolight Reissues the Bul-Bo Lamp by Gabetti and Isola

50 years after its creation, the iconic lamp designed for the Olivetti Residential Center in Ivrea is back

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Axolight Reissues the Bul-Bo Lamp by Gabetti and Isola
10/06/2021 - Axolight reissues the Bul-Bo lamp, the iconic project designed between 1968 and 1971 by Roberto Gabetti, Aimaro Isola, Guido Drocco and Luciano Re for the Olivetti Residential Centre in Ivrea. This lamp was designed to help create a residential environment inspired by Schiller: playful, free and oriented to bring psychophysical well-being to its guests. 
 
This floor lamp takes its name from its base, a bulb indeed, made of faux leather (since its first edition) and filled inside with marble granules, which acts as a counterweight and – at the same time – as a support to an aluminium stem that ends with the metal shape of a bulb. A lamp with an extremely innovative design, which can change its position with variable inclinations, assuming new identities and maintaining the ironic and empathic appearance that distinguished all the furnishings of the Olivetti Residential Centre. Bul-Bo was and remains an object of a break with the past. 
2. Bul-Bo lamp

2. Bul-Bo lamp

In 1968 the Gabetti and Isola studio started the construction project of the Olivetti Residential Centre in Ivrea, giving life to innovative residential solutions whose legacy is the idea of a new way of living spaces. Still innovative, both from an architectural and social point of view, Gabetti and Isola's work was revolutionary in all its aspects. The structure of the building (a sort of stretched skyscraper in the shape of a semicircle, a theatre with nature and the changing seasons at its centre) is confused and radically integrated with the surrounding green forest and the land that contains it, becoming over time a source of inspiration for important architectural structures built up to today.
The interior of the building, which consists of 82 housing units with a set of functional, modular and playful furnishings, was designed to give the guests of the structure an ideal psycho-physical comfort. 
This is how the Bul-Bo lamp was born, an illuminating flag around which the various furnishing accessories gathered - no longer fixed to the walls, as per tradition, but free in space - designed and built by Gabetti and Isola specifically for residential buildings. The guests of the residence, in fact, with the exception of Bul-Bo, could choose their furnishings among the various proposals of the studio. 
3. Centro Residenziale Olivetti di Ivrea - photo by Gianni Berengo Gardin

3. Centro Residenziale Olivetti di Ivrea - photo by Gianni Berengo Gardin

The most recent in-depth sessions between the Axolight and Aimaro Isola team, Guido Drocco, Lodovico Gabetti and Fabrizio Pellegrino were both emotional and decisive for the success of the new Bul-Bo project. 
It is precisely thanks to these sessions that the rationale that binds the shape of the Bul-Bo lamp, the year 1968, returns to the present day, which strongly influenced the design idea of Guido Drocco, who at the time was also the creator of the Cactus coat stand, together with Franco Mello - and Aimaro Isola's orientation towards a way – today more than ever - of conceiving objects, as elements suitable to make our homes a playful and interesting place, where play becomes synonymous with freedom (according to Friedrich Schiller’s vision of play).
4. Roberto Gabetti, Aimaro Isola, Guido Drocco

4. Roberto Gabetti, Aimaro Isola, Guido Drocco

To create the new Bul-Bo, a lamp already patented - explains Giuseppe Scaturro, CEO of Axolight - and to apply contemporary materials and production processes to it, we found it vital and decisive to resort to an extremely emotional maieutics exercise that led us to the reconstruction of the design thinking of the creators of the work. Having given a second life to a lamp so important for the history of modern design - which, fifty years after its first edition, remains incredibly strong, non-conforming, free and revolutionary - makes us proud, thrilled and enriched”.
In the development of the new Bul-Bo” - continues Giuseppe Scaturro – “we have set ourselves the goal of recreating an object externally faithful to its original form, but able to fulfil its modern lighting function”.
5. Centro Residenziale Olivetti di Ivrea - photo by Gianni Berengo Gardin

5. Centro Residenziale Olivetti di Ivrea - photo by Gianni Berengo Gardin

The presentation was held in the setting of the Palazzo della Luce in Turin and will take place during the training seminar “Axolight e i Grandi Maestri” organised by the Order of Architects and the Foundation for Architecture Turin. 
The event was an opportunity to discuss both the cultural value of the iconic pieces created by the great masters of design and the reasons that led an illuminated and contemporary company, such as Axolight, to invest important intellectual and economic resources in the re-edition, in a modern key, of one of the most important design objects of the 1900s.


AXOLIGHT on ARCHIPRODUCTS6. Bul-Bo lamp

6. Bul-Bo lamp

7. Bul-Bo lamp

7. Bul-Bo lamp

8. Bul-Bo lamp

8. Bul-Bo lamp

9. Bul-Bo lamp

9. Bul-Bo lamp

10. Bul-Bo lamp - original sketch

10. Bul-Bo lamp - original sketch

11. Bul-Bo lamp - original sketch

11. Bul-Bo lamp - original sketch

12. Bul-Bo lamp - original sketch

12. Bul-Bo lamp - original sketch

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