Leading architect creates an important new design for Bover

Dome pendant light by Tagliabue for Bover

This is Dome, a new introduction from Bover in Barcelona. It was designed for them by Benedetta Tagliabue. Though Italian, she founded the studio EMBT in Barcelona with Enric Miralles, whom she later married.

Benedetta Tagliabue

© Paolo Fassini

EMBT’s portfolio ranges from office towers to public spaces via industrial design. They designed the Scottish Parliament building, during the construction of which Miralles died, so Benedetta Tagliabue completed it in sole control.

Highly regarded by the profession, she won the RIBA Sterling prize in 2005, is a member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, and received the 2013 RIBA Jenks Award for her major contribution to both the theory and practice of architecture internationally. She is a visiting professor at Harvard and Columbia Universities, and at Barcelona ETSAB.

So what does such an eminent architect, used to working on a large scale, do when she designs a light fitting?

Dome comes in two sizes. The one in the image above is Ø90cm, and there is another one, double the size, at Ø180cm:

Dome 180 chandelier by Benedetta Tagliabue for Bover

The wooden structure is lit from above, from a housing that can be black (as above) or white.

This leaves the dome free to interact with the light around it, whatever its source. Instead of being a luminaire with a light inside it, Dome becomes an illuminated sculpture. Its deep ribs, and the gaps between them (that are sometimes empty, sometimes filled with a delicate translucent material), allow for the play of light and shadow as time passes, and as we move around it. The structure is unashamedly architectural, with its load-bearing ribs that not only create a cupola, but also continue on up to form a smaller inverted dome above. Part of the pleasure comes from appreciating its mathematical, geometric characteristics and the patterns that they create.

Dome suspension light by Benedetta Tagliabue for Bover

The final result was reached after making many models, and comprises 170 big and small wooden sections that are intertwined and sewn together by hand at Bover’s factory outside Barcelona.

It has a fantastic presence…

Dome pendant light Bover
Dome wooden chandelier Bover

…and clearly draws on Benedetta Tagliabue’s architectural thinking. For example, the Scottish Parliament building:

Scottish parliament interior

And the COPAGRI pavilion for the Milan Expo:

EMBT Copagri dome for expo milano by bendetta Tagliabue

Finally, do watch this joyous video of two amazing people at the top of their game, Benedetta Tagliabue and Joana Bover, chatting – and demonstrating the “feminine empathy” that lies behind the creation of Dome!

Bover wooden chandelier Dome
Print Friendly and PDF


...and the most useful lighting catalogue is...Bover's!

Bover FORA table light for indoor or outdoor use

Once you have discovered the Catalan lighting company, Bover, you will often find (as we do) that theirs is the catalogue that you turn to first. The collection comprises the types of decorative lighting that you need most frequently. The design, quality of production and pricing, as well as the company’s administration, are all very good. Bover is the only major quality lighting company created by a woman (Joana Bover).

To get a sense of the collections, and of Joana, I urge you to watch two little YouTube videos based on their 2015 Euroluce stand, here and here. In just over five minutes, you’ll get a better idea of the lights than still images could ever provide, and also of the joyous, positive personality of Joana herself!

Their designs tend to be really interesting, whilst not being so extreme as to frighten the horses your clients. Take Nón Lá (a new introduction for 2015):

Bover Nón Lá pendant-light

It is a simple, functional pendant. But it also has that kink, introducing an element of instability and, (seen particularly in the table version) of personality:

Bover Nón Lá table light

(You can see all four finishes, one of which is copper.)

By the way, one of the practical benefits of the Bover catalogue is that designs come in several typologies – table, floor, wall, pendant, &c. Thus,  the gorgeous glass Inari comes as a pendant, a table light and as a floor light:

Bover INARI table light
Bover Inari detail

One of their strengths is an outdoor collection that can also be used indoors, potentially connecting indoor and outdoor spaces. Fora (shown in the image at the top of this post) is part of a little family which has the lamp and electrics protected by a glass ball, and the rest of the luminaire in a basket weave, which softens the designs and, in Amphora for example, looks like the Moon in a basket:

Bover Amphora indoor or outdoor floor light

The current catalogue is split into two. The second part is made up of designs that are particularly suited to contract (hotels &c.) and customization.

There are many and varied designs using ribbon, such as Siam:

Bover siam ceiling light, Ø200cm
Bover Siam 6  light arrangement

And extremely well-priced, go-anywhere luminaires like Danona, with her leather detailing:

Bover Danona table lights

But Bover can let their hair down, too! Cornelia comes in two sizes, in black or white:

Bover Cornelia mulitlight  suspension

and with wonderful detailing:

Bover Cornelia multilight pendant detail
Bover cornelia multilight pendant detail

But the most spectacular piece, still under development, will be Dome,

Bover Dome large pendant light

their collaboration with Benedetta Tagliabue:

Benedetta Tagliabue with her design Dome for Bover

So you see, Danona to Dome, via Amphora and Siam – a wonderful, varied collection linked by Joana’s understanding of light and form, and her wonderful personality.

Print Friendly and PDF


...and the winner of the Wallpaper* 2014 best new brand award is...Parachilna!

Aballs table lights by Jaime Hayon for Parachilna
wallpaper* 2015 award winner symbol
aballs pendant small by Jaime Hayon for Parachilna

Wallpaper* is right: Parachina is definitely the most exciting new brand launched in 2014 – and it is a lighting brand!

They have begun with collections from three star designers. Above are a pendant and two table lights from Jaime Hayon's Aballs, which also includes a great chandelier:

Jaime Hayon aballs chandelier 12 for Parachilna

 And, for good measure, he also created the really cute table lights, Chinoz:

Chinoz table lights by Jaime Hayon for Parachilna

Including the shade, they are 62cm high.

Parachilna may be new, but it is already a very professional operation, having been set up in Barcelona (one of the two most important homes of decorative lighting), by people with deep experience in running fine lighting companies.

Their second designer is New York-based Stephen Burks, who has worked since 2005 in over ten countries, with companies like Audi, B&B Italia, Dedon, Missoni and Roche Bobois, and who has, importantly from Parachilna's point of view, a commitment to building bridges between authentic handmade craft production on the one side, and international distribution on the other – see details of his "manmade" project here.

Here are some items from his Anwar series:

Anwar pendant light by Stephen Burks for Parachilna
Anwar T 30 pendant light by Stephen Burks for Parachilna
Anwar floor light by Stephen Burks for Parachilna

Parachilna's philosophy matches ours. They talk of:

"... the integrity of the design, the quality of the materials and the artisanal craftsmanship that creates it. Preserving the skills and knowledge of the few remaining metalsmiths, glass blowers, ceramicists and other skilled craftsmen that still remain in Europe and, we hope, in other parts of the world...our passion is to work with designers from every corner of the globe."

The third designer contributing to their launch collections is Jordi Veciana. From Barcelona, he has worked with Ralph Lauren in New York and, since 1998, with Zara as a creative director conceiving new retail store concepts.

For Parachilna, he has designed the light, elegant, simple Alistair series, comprising a pendant, a table light and a floor light:

Alistair lights by Jordi Veciana for Parachilna
Alistair floor light by Jordi Veciana for Parachilna

So, as you can now see, Parachilna is, from their very beginning, working at the very highest level, with seriously great designers, fine production, and efficient administration – making them worthy Wallpaper*winners!

And that name? Parachilna is a town on the edge of the desert above Adelaide. To understand the relevance, and what these two are doing there...

Parachilna station

... have a look at this page on their web site!

Print Friendly and PDF

Marset revive the Funiculí of 1979 by Lluís Porqueras

Marset Funiculi floor light reading light Marset  reintroduced the Funiculí floor-standing task light by Lluís Porqueras at this year's Light+Building. They have been surprised by quite how popular it has proved to be.

We are not, for two reasons.

First, it fits into the most exciting trend of the moment -- the re-edition of great 20th century designs, also being developed by Gubi, FontanaArte, Nemo Cassina, Tecnolumen, Woka...Funiculí was created in 1979.

Secondly, it is wonderful design -- minimal and practical:

Marset funiculi floor light task light black

Minimal? "Lluís Porqueras has always sought an absolute simplicity in his designs, doing away with everything superfluous to leave the essence of the useful, simple object."

Practical? The part that contains the lamp is attached to the main stem by a pair of clips. This means that it can be slid up and down so that the lamp is at the ideal height for whatever you are doing (reading? ironing? tapestry?) and the shade can be rotated through 360° to shine onto the book, the shirt, the tapestry.

For this re-edition, Funiculí was changed a little. The bottom was made a bit bigger and the edge of the rubber sheet across the bottom extends further, making this light very stable. The shade was made larger and more efficient (the original was an off-the-shelf item). This work was overseen by Joan Gaspar, Marset's creative director.

I think that you will enjoy this charming and informative short film of old friends Lluís Porqueras and Joan Gaspar discussing this light, amongst other things.

Marset funiculí floor light reading light beige

Print Friendly and PDF