Dutch company Arco has been producing tables and other modern furniture pieces for decades. The family-owned business began in the early 20th century as a frame manufacturer and glass trader. In 1927, Wouter van Ast moved his business to a new factory in Winterswijk, where the Arco facility still stands. When his son Arend Cornelis took over at the start of World War II, the company started shifting its focus to furniture production. Wood was in short supply, so Arco used material made by shredding orange crates to form chipboard. High-quality chipboard is still used in the manufacturing process today.
Arend’s brother, Willem van Ast, joined the company in 1967 and introduced a focus on modernism. He engaged outside collaborators, especially contemporary designer Arnold Merckx, to establish a new focus for the brand and develop furniture that would replace the brand’s existing offerings. Today, Jorre van Ast leads the family-owned business. He is committed to continuing to expand the company’s offerings, further define its aesthetic point of view, and uphold the standards of quality and manufacturing excellence for which the company is known.
Tables have long been the company’s focus, though it also offers complimentary pieces like chairs and consoles. Arco limits its carbon footprint by working with partners close to its factory. The Local Wood collection features products made entirely with wood that is sourced locally in the Netherlands and nearby Germany. Trees that need to be felled to maintain the health of the forest for continued sustainable growth are used for the line. The brand celebrates the natural quality of the wood by highlighting the color and texture differences that make each product unique. Context Gallery has been a trusted partner with Arco for a decade.