Architecture & Design

Lasvit’s Laterna Magica collection explores the architecture of light

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I t's hard to stand out at the Milan furniture fair, but the Bohemian glass company Lasvit managed to do so with a suite of brand-new lighting and chandelier designs by some impressive architectural names. The business, which has actually previously worked with popular designers such as the Campana Brothers (whose Fungo chandelier in clear glass and wooden battens, motivated by the mushrooms that grow on the conventional wood moulds utilized in the production procedure, is pure delight) in addition to lots of home-grown Czech skill, has actually now added Zaha Hadid Associates, Kenga Kuma, Andre Fu and Kenga Kuma to its list.

"We used to need to ask designers to join us," says Leon Jakimic who founded the business in 2007. "Now we need to ask them to slow down. Once they have actually been to the glassworks in Novy Bor, they get carried away."

The glassworks, Ajeto, is centuries old, but had actually been diminished in the communist years, as it was impossible to offer the items outside the nation. While Jakimic's timing was definitely dangerous-- 2007 wasn't precisely a duration of economic development-- he had a various perspective, being based in Hong Kong. "I knew had a market," he states. Ninety percent of Lasvit's work ends up in hotels and gambling establishments, and a minimum of 30 percent in Asia Pacific; the Middle East is not far behind. Undoubtedly, it turns out he was. Their biggest task to this day is for the 555 metre Lotte World Tower in Seoul, where a 70m work made from 8000 handblown pieces and weighing 6 tonnes fills the atrium.

Duna light by Zaha Hadid Style for Lasvit t Milan, things are thankfully a little smaller, though Zaha Hadid's style group, led by Maha Kutay and architect Woody Yao, had actually been going over architectural jobs with Lasvit because 2013. "Nothing had actually emerged but we was familiar with the company," states Kutay, "and exactly what it implies to blow glass into plaster or metal or wood." "It made us more positive to begin pushing them once we handled this task," includes Woody, "truly pressing the procedure to create something completely brand-new."

The two resulting styles could not be more various. Duna, which continues the late Zaha Hadid's own long fascination with the natural formations of dune, appears highly natural and is made in glass so clear it looks like liquid, while the striated surface area implies light continually refracts and shows in different methods.

The other design, called Eve, has 2 interlocking parts, the internal one made in a cloudy smoked glass with an external part that looks like a veil. "You're restricted by how big specific pieces can be due to the procedure," says Woody, "however then it's a modular system, so you can make something pretty or huge, depending on how numerous pieces you use. That fits an architect's mind to believe in a modular method."

Jakimic describes the Japanese designer Kenga Kuma as being at the top of his career. Aged 60, he has a number of essential tasks in train, consisting of the V&A's brand-new building in Dundee and the 2020 Olympic stadium in Tokyo and any one who has remained at the Opposite Home hotel in Beijing will understand how wonderful his work can be-- a cool combination of restraint and craft. "I like the poetic designers who prefer to go deeper," says Jakimic.

Yakisugi by Kengo Kuma for Lasvit W hen Kuma went to the glassworks previously this year, he asked the glassblowers to utilize dry rather of wet moulds. As the molten glass is blown at 1000 degree Celsisus, it would burn the moulds, leaving distinct patination on the glass, and imitating the ancient Japanese method for preserving wood by charring it. The collection is called Yakisugi after the latter. "It was actually essential to find a metaphorical connection between the Czech Republic and Japan," states Kuma's representative Marcin Sapeta. The resulting types have a milky stippled quality, and a classy however modest air; they are modernist, and old-fashioned, in an excellent way.

Tactile by Andre Fu for Lasvit

ndre Fu, a designer based in Hong Kong, is presently dealing with the big Kerry Hotel in the city, which opens its 546 spaces in April (it belongs to the Shangri-la group). But he made time to visit the Lasvit glassworks in Bohemia last year. "Simply touching the moulds sufficed to obtain me believing," he states. "I wanted that sort of tactility. And I wished to question the nature of glass. It's considered transparent, however then it does not capture the light."

Fu's design, Tac (or Tile in English) is a 90 degree folded piece, like a conventional Chinese tile, made from glass shards that are heated in the mould till they melt, when more shards are included. This makes each tile distinct. He then designed an L-shaped brass structure to hold them-- a clean, pure and industrial-looking solution. Mr Jakimic need to be pleased as there's currently an order in place for Tac. Fu will be using them in Red Sugar, the bar at the Kerry Hotel.

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