MODEL 597 COLLECTION
BY GIANFRANCO FRATTINI
First released in 1961, the Model 597 by Italian virtuoso Gianfranco Frattini is the lamp that launched him as a lighting designer. Short and cylindrical in shape, the Model 597 is fitted with multiple bulbs and quirky fringes that disguise its functional versatility. Its unique and playful form perfectly encapsulates Frattini’s extraordinary approach to the aesthetics of light.
REVIVING A LIGHTING ICON
Now, more than six decades after it was first produced, the Model 597 is back, its characteristic and timeless blend of versatility, elegance, tactility, and light-hearted whimsy ready to delight a new generation. As the lamp that cemented Frattini as one of the masters of light, the Model 597 has an important place in design history, and brilliantly showcases the affinity for materials, functional focus, and construction ingenuity that so many of his designs embodied. GUBI is honored to give this one-of-a-kind design – and its visionary designer – a platform once more.
LATERAL LIGHTS BEHIND FASHIONABLE FRINGES
Model 597’s unique nylon fringes were inspired by both the world of fashion and the fringed entrance curtains commonly found in Italy’s bars and grocery stores in the late 1950s. They are affixed to a diabolo-shaped aluminum base, which is fitted with six lateral bulbs around the central core, with an additional bulb housed in a cavity on top, directing light upwards. This creates a 360º light that floods out evenly between the fringes, as well as an uplight – enhanced by the reflection in the polished-aluminum surface – which can be individually controlled with a dual-button switch.
The bodies of both versions are constructed from an aluminum plate, which is spun on a lathe and shaped over a mold. The Table Lamp is made from a single piece, and the Floor Lamp comprises two pieces, which are attached using three finger screws. These are also used to affix the baseplate and cover to both lamps, making them easy to disassemble for repair or recycling.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
Referring to Frattini’s original drawings alongside an original example of the design, GUBI and the Frattini family have not only reissued the Model 597 Floor Lamp as it was, but also scaled the dimensions down to a smaller size. This smaller variant retains all the functional flexibility and aesthetic impact of the 1960s original, in a compact tabletop size, with four lateral bulbs rather than six.
RICH AMBIENT GLOW FROM ALL ANGLES
Thanks to the array of lateral bulbs, both the Table and Floor Lamps emit a 360º play of indirect light, softened by the fringes to create a rich ambient glow, while the reflective aluminum cover adds warmth to the uplight. The double light switch on Model 597 means the uplight and lateral lights can be controlled individually, making it easy to adapt to the function and atmosphere desired.
From door handles and jewelry to homes and hotels, Gianfranco Frattini left an indelible mark on modern Italian design over the course of his 50-year career. Experienced at creating interiors for public spaces such as restaurants and nightclubs, he appreciated the importance of modulating light to create nuances within an interior – forming areas of both functional focus and warm, subtle radiance that contribute to the atmosphere and sense of place. When he died in his beloved Milan in 2004, Frattini left behind one of the richest and most varied legacies of any 20th-century designer, encompassing award-winning furniture – both indoor and outdoor – modern icons, and landmark interiors that shaped the taste of the era.
MODEL 597 COLLECTION