Arches have a strong presence in multiple movements from classical to Art Deco and Memphis, so it’s no surprise that our taste for mixing details from all periods is bringing them back in abundance. Used to frame objects, to add rhythm and structure to a scheme or to create a protective and intimate atmosphere, arched shapes offer infinite possibilities for playful interpretations.
They’re like architectural drawings turned into products - it’s a little device that the designer can have fun with.
In the Alcova collection of glass works by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for WonderGlass, large arches form part of an architectural landscape used to frame other objects. The precise shape sets off the imprecise nature of the glass, which was cast by pouring it into open wooden moulds and allowing its natural behaviour to make each final object unique.
Another combination of exhibition and social hangout at Milan design week, Bar Anne was an architectural structure comprising 25 arcades, illuminated with neon arches. These formed a protective and intimate environment for viewing the design on show, but also contributed to the spectacle with intense light shows as part of the daily performances.
Looking to make their acoustic panels suitable for use in more monumental interiors such as an auditorium or long hallway, Baux used the arch shape for its classical connotations and gave it a modern, minimal, modular treatment. Together with the sound-absorbing properties, repeating this shape across an expense creates an intimate atmosphere that’s still grand.
For her Meticulous screen, Italian designer Marsica Fossati placed arches within arches - each neatly upholstered with lush velvets - and put them in a patinated brass frame. The piece is part of the contemporary furniture collection of the Nilufar gallery in Milan.
Autem is a free-standing arched mirror made of extremely thin marble plates by Italian designer Alberto Bellamoli
The Arch wallpaper is a design by Mae Engelgeer for Italian wallpaper producer Texturae and features an optical illusion of concentric vaults.
Californian studio Another Human has come up with the Sophia table lamp. With its arch and the exposed light bulbs, the chrome-plated design references Memphis forms.
This console table with tubular arches and a tinted glass top is one of the first pieces that US American designer Jessica Herrera launched with her new label Oōd Studio.
Francesco Balzano constructed his Giorgio chair with arches made from sanded, patinated and silvered aluminium, creating a design with an antique character.