The story of Sonora is the story of a pure geometric shape, the hemisphere, pursued by Magistretti like an obsession, available in numerous materials and sizes, making its name as a lamp that remained one of the most loved by Magistretti himself and in which he recognised the ability to light up, and especially to characterise, an entire environment: a sort of volume contained in another volume that is the room.
In 2016, this lighting archetype is celebrating its fortieth anniversary and Oluce wanted to pay tribute to it with an event organised next October, at which a video filmed in collaboration with the Magistretti Foundation and entitled #40annidisonora will also be presented.
With Margherita Pellino, granddaughter of Magistretti and the Curator of the Foundation’s archives, as narrator, we discover sketches, inspirations and trivia that tell the story of the strong link between the Sonora and its creator. The date of 6 October, in fact, is not a random choice, but coincides with the date of the birth of Vico Magistretti, precisely to emphasise the great elective affinity between the architect/designer and the company that produced some of his most popular icons.
Sonora: all the faces of a design icon
The Sonora was originally designed with a spun aluminium reflector, painted white. There were 3 sizes: model 410 – 100 cm in diameter and 50 cm in height (featuring two 150 W Globolux bulbs); model 409 – 70 cm in diameter and 35 cm in height (featuring two 100 W Globolux bulbs); model 408 – 50 cm in diameter and 25 cm in height (featuring one 150 W Globolux bulb). Suspension was always achieved using a black electrical cable with a white PVC patera in a hemispherical shape.
1990 saw the arrival of the opal etched Murano blown glass version, with a diameter of 50 centimetres (model 411), and the 38 cm diameter was added in 1999 (model 438). In 2003, a 90 cm diameter version in opaline, opaque white, black, transparent and tinted transparent methacrylate (model 490) became available. In 2006, a methacrylate version reached the exceptional size of 133 centimetres in the opaline or opaque white variants (model 493). In 2009, a 90 cm diameter version was offered, again in opaque methacrylate, but with the interior decorated in gold leaf (model 490/OR).
Last but not least, the latest version of the Oluce catalogue saw the addition of 4 new variants, confirming the great success achieved by Sonora on the eve of its 40th anniversary: the new versions in black metal with a diameter of 50 cm (model 408) or 38 cm (model 437), and in gold metal, with a diameter of 50 cm (model 408/oro) or 38 cm (437/oro).