Lucie Koldova on Her “Das Haus” Design For imm Cologne 2018
Challenged by the organizers of imm Cologne to create “a poetic study of light,” Koldova designed her dream house as a wonderland of illumination in various forms.
“What’s most important is to live with the people that you love, but comfort and atmosphere come next,” says Lucie Koldova. Fittingly, the 34-year-old Czech designer sums up her experimental home for the 2018 edition of the annual Das Haus installation series in one word: “ambience.”
Challenged by the organizers of the international home-furnishings show imm Cologne to create “a poetic study of light,” Koldova designed her dream house as a wonderland of illumination in various forms, from light to dark to refreshing and relaxing, where the subtle power of ambience will be explored on multiple levels—thus the title Light Levels. “Each room will play with both the temperature of light and its composition,” Koldova explains.
To help achieve what she calls this “diversity of moods,” the designer will unveil three new lighting prototypes as well as draw on existing products: Macaron, a handblown glass lamp inspired by the sweet almond-cookie-and-ganache French pastry—and offered in the same soft colors— from Czech manufacturer Brokis; Puro, a geometric pendant exploring horizontal and vertical lines, also from Brokis; and Lens F46, a large-scale pendant from Italian manufacturer Fabbian that uses slender perforated metal lenses to play with indirect light.
While Koldova’s home will be strictly minimal, it won’t be monochromatic. “I don’t want one of those futuristic, super cool and hard homes, where everything is clean and white,” she emphasizes. “It will be what I consider reasonable, smart, and good-looking and what makes sense for what I consider a home feeling, or a feeling of well-being.” In her model for the 1,900-square-foot space, a one-story structure comprises five rectangular rooms built of wood, concrete, metal, Barrisol lighting, and Kvadrat fabric.
The rooms, each with its own distinctive lighting concept, address five functions—relaxation or sleep, meditation, bathing, inspiration (a small office space), and dressing—and are clustered around a central living area. There the softly rounded upholstered seating, placed in a campfire-like ring, is a first for the young designer, who until now has focused on glass and lighting. Overhead, two of Koldova’s star-shaped Puro pendants drop “like two giant sparklers,” she suggests. She also designed a custom glass washbasin in the bathroom. The rest of the furnishings, Koldova says, “are pieces from people I admire, from companies I work with, a well-tuned, well-chosen mix. I am trying to make little stories, in both a creative and poetic way.”
Noticeably absent is a kitchen. “I am not a cook, and I needed to make a choice and it just wasn’t a priority to me,” Koldova admits. Also on the chopping block: technology. Koldova, who lives with her husband and 2-year-old son, hasn’t had a TV since she was 18—and likes it that way. “Everyone is connected and of course you can’t live without a mobile phone, but why emphasize it here?”
It’s more than likely the new pieces will have a French flair. While Koldova grew up north of Prague and graduated from the Czech capital’s Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in 2009, she founded her namesake firm in Paris in 2010, and lived there four years before returning to the Czech Republic. France continues to influence her work “big-time,” says the designer, who has contributed pieces to French firms La Chance and Haymann Editions, among others.
However, leaving home also makes you appreciate its charm, and glass, made for centuries in the regions that are now the Czech Republic, is something Koldova came to realize her country excels at. The handblown glass-and-wood Muffins lamp, produced in collaboration with Dan Yeffet in 2010, was Koldova’s first work in the medium and earned her both international recognition and her first commission from a firm dedicated to preserving and adapting traditional glassmaking techniques: Brokis.
The union was timely. The designer was exactly who Brokis’s founder Jan Rabell hoped could help turn the company around. “It was after some harsh times, when all the glass factories were closing down during the crisis,” Koldova remembers. “We managed to refresh the glass lighting portfolio again.” In 2012, Koldova was appointed art director at Brokis, and sales at the company reached new heights.
Looking beyond those products debuting at imm Cologne, Koldova says: “I am creating my own emotions. Playing with light means that I don’t really know exactly what my work will look like, but I hope that people will be inspired.”
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