Woka: Josef Hoffmann ceiling light for the Palais Stoclet

Woka Josef Hoffmann Palais Stoclet ceiling light 1Woka have supplied several of the Josef Hoffmann Palais Stoclet ceiling lights for the magnificent exhibition at the Lower Belvedere in Vienna, Gustav Klint/Josef Hoffmann -- Pioneers of Modernism. It closes at the end of this week, but fortunately the equally excellent catalogue Gustav Klimt/Josef Hoffmann: Pioneers of Modernism (which, thanks to its many illustrations and copious essays, will become an essential text on the subject) continues to be available.

It is a reminder of just how seminal the movements in Vienna at this time were, not only to 20th century interior design (truly "pioneers of modernism"!), but also to the development of suitable fittings to take electric light -- which was a new and exciting thing at this time.

The exhibition's effectiveness results partly from two spectacular life-size recreations. One is of the left lateral hall of the of the 1902 Beethoven Exhibition, which affords a unique opportunity to understand Gustav Klimt's confusing, troubling masterpiece -- the frieze that he created for this space.

klimt_hoffmann_beethoven exhibitionThe other is of part of the hall in the Palais Stoclet in Brussels (in the back of this image, behind one of the excellent models):

"Gustav Klimt/Josef Hoffmann - Pioniere der Moderne"  (24.10.2011)This was arguably the most important Wiener Werkstätte commission, since they were given full responsibility for the architecture and the interior design of this remarkable building, and most of the members worked on it.

You can see Josef Hoffmann's ceililng lights in the image above. Here is a detail, photographed in Woka's workshop:

Woka Stoclet detailA shaped punch could have been made to apply these patterns but the result would have been dead. To get the life that the hands of a craftsman add, they are made instead by hammering the pattern out with a point.

This ceiling light is Ø35cm, made of brass (lightly patinated), with crystal balls and an opaline glass diffuser. The quality of the craftsmanship matches the quality of this important design. It costs €6,200.

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