Woka: Knize pendant by Adolf Loos

Knize pendant by Woka 2Knize is one of the most illustrious names in men's tailoring: knize interior 3Knize Ten is one of the most important and distinguished of all men's fragrances.

Knize TenIt can be bought in the UK from one of our favourite shops, Les Senteurs. (It is the  only remaining pre-war leather, its smoky, complex scent unlike any of the woody/spicy/floral fragrances sold at airports. "Let me put it simply: everyone should own this perfume, because there is only one like it" says Luca Turin in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.)

But, to fine lighting fans, Knize (which is pronounced the Czech way, BTW  -- kníže) refers to the pendant that Adolf Loos designed for the Company when, in 1909, he created their shop on Venna's Graben.

All lovers of design should thank Mode-Atelier Knize for preserving the entrance as he intended it, both the exterior...

knize am graben exterior...and the interior:

Knize interior entranceYou can see the Knize pendant in each of these images of the interiors. Its significance lies as much in the fact that it is a dodecahedron (so one of the five platonic solids), as in the fact that it was designed by Adolf Loos, the immensely influential father of modernism who, in Ornament und Verbrechen (Ornament and Crime) of 1908 (at the same time as he was designing the Knize shop) linked morality with functional, undecorated forms.

His problem with ornament was partly that it results in whatever it is applied to quickly looking dated. Significantly, therefore, this lantern, which eschews all ornament, is still in production over 100 years after he designed it.

Woka, the specialists in re-editions of early 20th century Viennese designs, including those from the Wiener Wertstätte and the Secession, produces the Knize pendant in two sizes, Ø35cm and Ø55cm. The standard finishes are polished brass or nickel, with hand-cut, bevelled glass.

Then, for its 100th anniversary, Christiane Büssgen, Woka's creative director, deconstructed the Knize in order to create the Dodekaeder extension, a sophisticated play both on the design, and on the philosphy behind it, by, well, adding ornament!

Woka Knize Christiane Buessgen 1Woka Knize Christiane Buessgen 2Woka Knize Christiane Buessgen 3

In whatever form, it is a wonderful lantern, unlike any other, that should be on any shortlist of pendants for a project.

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