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
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Produzione Privata's new furniture – and decorative lights for architects!

Produzione Privata Sedia 2015 gala chair with horse

If an architect/designer of the stature of Michele De Lucchi creates Produzione Privata – his “private production” – so that he can release collections that are independent of the requirements of professional clients, and not compromised by the restraints of fashion and markets, the results are going to be really special – the connoisseurs’ choice! They are also exclusive: not many people know about them.

The 2015 introductions are best understood from a charming two-minute animation here,  set to a piano sonata by Mozart that you probably used to play – the name of the collection being Viva Mozart (because “everything he wrote was harmonious, innovative and happy”).

Here are some highlights. The Sedia 2015 Gala chair shown above has its back in the form of a horseshoe, plus the sturdiness and solid feet of a cob. It is made of beech and walnut.

There is also the San Vigilio table in oiled oak:

Michele De Lucchi Produzione Privata San Vigilio table

In fact, wood may be Michele’s favourite material. We are delighted that one of his new lights made of wood (solid walnut) is in the form of a circle (a shape that many want, and architects revere, but there are not many available). It is called Dodici (=twelve) because the LED lamps echo the twelve hour markings on a clock face.

Michele De Lucchi Produzione Privata Dodici wood pendant light

Linear pendants are nowhere near as rare as circles! But, by coming at this typology from the point of view of someone who loves wood, and who is an architect (so he is constantly aware of dimensions), he has created something new: Metro – ten 10cm blocks of walnut glued together to make a ruler (with LED lamps in) that is exactly one metre long.

Michele De Lucchi Produzione Privata wooden linear pendant light Metro

Even more obviously architectural is Brunellesca – five oak barrel vaults and a central cupula:

Michele De Lucchi Produzione Privata wooden chandelier Brunellesca

The collection is not all wood, though. Michele De Lucchi has the advantage of working with Alberto Nason, the son of the great Murano glass light designer, Carlo Nason. Here is a table version that they have added to the Perseo family. The elegant, dynamic glass diffuser is now stood on four rough iron supports. There is also a floor version.

Michele De Lucchi Produzione Privata Perseo stelo 28 table light

And the latest versions of Glacier (here, the pendant Glacier 20 – there is also a table light, and vases) replicate the look of ice. No two are the same, because the cwms and crevasses are formed using a special type of mould that allows for some random movement during the blowing of the glass.

Michele De Lucchi Produzione Privata Glacier 20 pendant light

There is a witty illustrated introduction to all the new 2015 items here.

And you can download the full 2015 catalogue here.

Go on – give yourself a treat!

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Brokis bring Shadows to lightjunction

brokis shadows glass and wood pendant lights

Don't forget our world first! Courtesy of Architonic, you can still see on the dedicated apps and the Virtual Showroom on the lightjunction web site details of everything that you saw -- or missed -- at lightjunction and designjunction this year.

Lucie Koldova's and Dan Yeffet's latest collection for Brokis, Shadows,  is a bit more conventional than their others. It is basically a school light made from glass and wood.

The wooden part, which contains LEDs, is oak, which can be left natural...

Brokis shadows pendant lights white

...or stained black:

Brokis Shadows rectangular cluster

The cable can be white, yellow, red, grey or black.

The glass hangs from the wood, held in place by friction: the wood is wider at the bottom -- you feed the wood through the glass to put the light together. There are five shapes of glass...

Brokis Shadows pendant light PC894
Brokis Shadows pendant light PC895
Brokis Shadows pendant light PC896
Brokis Shadows pendant light PC897

and a larger one:

Brokis Shadows XL pendant light PC911

...and five colours/finishes: opal, smoke grey, smoke brown, triplex opal black and transparent black.

At lightjunction, Brokis had a striking display of Shdaows in black oak with opal black glass:

Brokis shadows pendant light black

BTW, the transparent black does let some light out, like this:

Brokis SHADOWS pendant light by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova

The Shadows can be purchased and hung individually or in an arrangement of your own devising:

brokis shadows pendant lights in a group

or there is a round ceiling plate that takes a set of each of the five (see the second image from the top of this post), and a rectangular ceiling plate that takes two sets -- i.e. ten Shadows (see the third image from the top).

This is going to be a hugely useful light. It is based on a useful design anyway, but with the fine materials (oak, glass), excellently detailed design (as we expect now from Lucie and Dan), and the variety of colours and finishes, it is going to be suitable for a wide variety of environments.

BROKIS SHADOWS by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova
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LZF making beautiful music at lightjunction

LZF lightjunction 2013

Don't forget our world first! Courtesy of Architonic, you can still see on the dedicated apps and the Virtual Showroom on the lightjunction web site details of everything that you saw -- or missed -- at lightjunction and designjunction this year.

LZF manage to create a wonderful range of colours in their wood veneers -- wonderful, because of the exact hue and intensity selected. Above is a long shot of several of their Escape pendant. A sensible size -- Ø40cm H30cm -- it also works beautifully in a simple off-white:

LZF Escape pendant light

And that illustrates the main visual message conveyed by the sensitive hanging of their lights at lightjunction by LZF and Do Shop. The coloured versions were dotted around the entrances to the halls, whereas once visitors reached the stand, they found this magnificent arrangement of many of their lights in off-white -- virtually no colour at all:

LZF Designjunction 2013

LZF have taken advantage of this massed effect to create a new chandelier, called Candelabro:

LZF candelabro chandelier

which can also be in colours:

LZF candelabro chandelier

It is a medley of several of their existing designs, including the recent Raindrop:

LZF Raindrop pendant light  cluster

(which is beautifully engineered so that it is easy to relamp and always hangs at the right angle) .

Candelabro also has birds flitting happily about:

LZF candelabro chandelier detail

Yet again one is amazed and delighted by how much LZF can do with elegant wood veneer -- the simple, the complex, the elegant, the frenzied....

LZF candelabro chandelier set

The general theme of the new collection was High Fidelity (so, you see, my headline was not just a pitiful cliché!). They have had great fun with this, whilst exhibiting a very accurate feel for 1960s fonts and graphic design. To see what I mean, have a look at this little video:


As I write this, I'm enjoying the album that Sandro produced. It is recorded in full high fidelity, stereophonic sound! You can download the tracks here, where you'll also learn more about the campaign.

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lightjunction: trend #2 -- carved and polished dark woods

Channels Finnieston floor and table lights

Lightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be with collocated with designjunction at the Sorting Office on New Oxford Street during London Design Week, 18-22 September 2013.

In 2012, designers discovered the fun of back-to-basics lights made using untreated pale woods. For previous decades, wood had rarely been used in lighting, other than by specialists like Secto and LZF (except for the pedestals of floor and table base'n'shade lights) .

2013 sees a return to the beauty of finely carved and polished darker woods. Channels is adding lights to their collection of elegantly proportioned and made pieces, using the materials that they use for their furniture -- for example, oak and walnut. You can see above the floor and table task lights the Finnieston collection.

The lack of heat produced by LEDs means that Channels can make not just the structure, but even the shades, out of wood. Here are the Three Wise Men -- three shapes in two sizes, made from solid American white oak or American black walnut, that can be used individually or in groups.

Channels Three Wise men wood pendant lightsOther darker woods are appearing as part of the revival of the great designs of the 20th century.

The illustrious Viennese firm of Kalmar is able to draw upon its own 130 year archive. Here is  the Admont2 from 1930. You can see the beautiful colour of the wood...

Kalmar Admont 2 wood chandelier

...and the close-up below (of an Admont6) gives some idea of the quality of line, of carving, of finishing and of detail:

Kalmar Admont6 wood chandelier detail

The result is warm, rich, comfortable and sophisticated. The wood choices include solid rosewood, wengé and oak, plus there are lacquered versions in satin matt red of black.

Also showing at lightjunction this year, and also from Vienna, Woka include in their collection of early 20th century lights the truly magnificent floor mounted uplighter, Flora, and of about 1930.

Woka Flora brass and wood floorstanding uplighter of 1930

The structure is in stained beech. The version above has brass detailing. There is also a black stained version, with nickel-plated brass, that has an even stronger art déco feel:

Woka Flora floorstanding uplighter of 1930 black and nickel

So the return to solid fine woods is making available again the sense of quality, style and connoisseurship that has been so abjured in recent years.

lightjunction 18 22 September 2013


Channels images courtesy of Philip Vile.

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