Born in England,  Robert Dudley Best was the son of a Birmingham light manufacturer. Trained in Germany, in Düsseldorf, as a metal designer, he soon took over his father's company. His studies in Germany were decisive for his design culture: there he came into contact with Gropius and with the Bauhaus school whose principles deeply inspired Best and naturally guided the conception of his most iconic project: the Bestlite lamp, designed in the table version, the  BL1 (on the cover), in 1930 and therefore reached its ninetieth anniversary. Among the admirers of this lamp, there was also Winston Churchill: the British Prime Minister chose it not only for his desk in Whiteall (the seat of the English government) but also - it is said - for his travels abroad, in which he carried one with him. The lamp was chosen for the Savoy Hotel in London where it was inserted following the renovation of 1930, but also for Isokon, the experimental condominium, inspired by the principles of modernism, conceived in the same years by Welles Coates in the English capital.

BL1 table lamp by Gubi

The presence of the lamp in such different and prestigious contexts is a testimony of its perhaps most appreciated feature: versatility. Due to its dry but not edgy style, but rather full of gentle and elegant curves that never become fine frills. BL1, is a lamp with an elegant, refined but extremely discreet shape. It has an industrial but not technical style despite being highly sought after from a design point of view: it was in fact the first lamp that was adjustable in height and direction, thanks to the pivot that slides along the supporting structure.

Bestlite lamp by Gubi

The study of this system was dictated by the need of the original clients: the diamond cutters of the Birmingham jewelers' district who needed a height-adjustable and space-saving lamp. The BL1 was therefore born as a lamp for artisans and then became an icon of good taste and technique, while remaining extremely faithful to the original project. In fact, Gubi did not succumb to the sirens' call of bright colors and preferred to keep the steel finishes, the black, white and gray colors, and materials such as bone china, copper and brass. Colors and materials that bring us back to the atmosphere of the past, to the 1930s in which the lamp was created. BL1 is a lamp that tells its time, but precisely for this reason it stands out, at the same time, its essential and functional design, fits it with ease in any context, domestic and contract.

BL family by Gubi

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary,  Gubi will launch, on 24 September, a special collection (in the image) which includes 300 numbered and certified pieces of the BL1 table,  BL3 floor,  BL5 and  BL7 wall collections. The finish of the limited edition pieces is in nickel, a finish that while on the one hand recalls the original industrial function of the lamp, at the same time gives it a patinated and elegant appearance.

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