“Das Haus” 2018: living in light

It was a real experiment: what might home living look like if, instead of furniture, lighting assumed the primary role in defining spaces? If light no longer served to stage furniture, but the reverse – if the furniture were chosen to complement the light? If each room were a perfectly harmonious arrangement of colour and light, material and minimalist forms?

In “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”, an installation simulating a living space, visitors at the international interiors show imm cologne could experience up close how many roles light assumes in home interiors. After all, it is lighting that determines how we perceive our environment, but beyond that, it also controls our mood and influences whether a space feels like home: light does not merely illuminate. It brightens; it can calm or enliven. It can light the way home, cheer the spirits, purify, make us soar and set us free. “Light Levels” is the name chosen by this year’s guest of honour, Czech designer Lucie Koldova. Her interpretation for the seventh edition of the showcase at the Cologne design event in 2018 was an opportunity to behold visionary interior design.

Radiant luminosity interacting with a delicate choreography of light

At times “Das Haus” dazzled with light, and then the lights would pulse gently in muted colours. The lights, new creations by the designer produced specially for “Das Haus”, followed a light choreography that was activated at particular intervals. Lucky visitors experienced a delicate starry sky and light tubes that illuminated in an alternating sequence, just like at a chamber music concert. The mouth-blown glass lamps, made by Brokis, are powered by cutting-edge LED technology with which the original, elementary energy of light – which the designer loves working with – can be attuned to the current mood.

Levels of light: living, relax, inspiration, spirit, dress and welcome

Lucie Koldova, the young star of the Czech design scene, transformed the home installation into two seemingly contradictory visions: a stage for personal expression and a place where you can retreat and find peace. For her, the home is first and foremost a place where we can withdraw. The architecture for her “Haus” therefore merely served as a vessel for light moods that reflect the social, emotional and regenerative functions of home life. The interpretation by the Prague-based designer, who is also the Creative Director of the Czech lighting manufacturer Brokis, made “Das Haus” shine in surprisingly different forms of light. It was almost enough to make you wish that there was more space for the Cologne design event, more space to bathe in light, to dream under the stars, to revel in red or to float in spheres of diffusely luminous radiance.

Lucie Koldova filled “Das Haus” with light and furniture – in that order. Her aim was to use light to reveal the emotional needs behind home living and to simultaneously fulfil them. She wanted to link her vision to practical functions and a minimalist architecture in which nothing distracted from the experience of light.

Dazzling white light from amazing oversize candles, glowing red light on the table, trickles of pastel colours from a magic forest

The living room was transformed into a central showplace for social gatherings, bathed in dazzling light as if from fireworks by Puro Sparkle. The Living Space was filled with sumptuous pebble-shaped upholstery from the new Link sofa series (Prostoria). Yet it is immediately transformed into a snugly lit hideaway the moment that family or friends gather around the red “primeval light” radiating from the Puro Fire table and floor lamps. The fabrics supplied for Link by Kvadrat followed a colour scheme of neutral whites and greys paired with warm, dominant red tones – Koldova’s favourite colour.

Light from above was also provided by the new Ivy lamp. It seemed to branch out endlessly in the Relax Room, just like the plant from which it takes its name, creating a forest of light suspended from the ceiling. The light did not radiate downwards as if from a chandelier. Instead, it trickled down, creating a warm “light shower” that cascades over the bathtub and bed corner. The warm wood panelling by Dinesen and the bed corner by Kinnasand covered in an oversize velvet quilt with a decorative trim are linked to what can be best described as blossoms of light: brilliant mouth-blown oval forms. Together they form a magical “Hortus conclusus”, a secret garden where residents can bathe in water and light before relaxing with their family. The twig-like connections in Ivy can be combined horizontally or vertically to create hanging “light gardens” with opal or smoked glass spheres shimmering in pastel whites, pinks and greys. Even the washbasin, a product study named Tubes, is a sculptural composition of coloured glass bowls stacked on top of each other, as if they had been threaded on a metal tube.

To provide contrast, the walls in the Inspiration Room glowed in diffusely refracted, cool white light. Their role is to invigorate the mind – to make you feel as if you were on a white cloud where imagination is boundless. Seemingly lightweight glass and metal furniture stands alongside the spheres of light of Big One. Another new launch by Brokis, it resembles huge drops of water hovering in the air and creates a liberating effect of luminosity radiating without a clear source or in a particular direction, a sensation heightened by Koldova’s sumptuous new Chips lounge chairs. They celebrated their premiere in Cologne along with her new Cocoon chair (both for TON).

Lucie Koldova wants to feel utterly at one with herself in her Spirit Room, whose plain walls clad in LightBeton (Richter) shimmered gently in the indirect interplay of light and shade from the new Lens wall lamps (Fabbian). Blossom upholstered furniture by Käfer und Hummel, presented as a product study, featured luxurious curves that invited visitors to dream.

But perhaps the most spectacular room in “Das Haus” 2018 was the Dress Room: enclosed by walls covered in red, furnished with a red carpet on the floor and a red chair in front of a glamorous smoked glass table and mirror, the room is filled with exclusive favourite pieces, hand-picked by the designer, so that the whole space brought to mind an artist’s wardrobe. Shoes, clothes and jewellery appeared on pedestals and in the open wardrobes. Instead of cupboards and drawers, she created altars of light to display the objects that she identifies with. “I wanted a room where I can present something of my personality and where I can realise myself. A dress room seemed like a suitable alternative to the kitchen here to me,” says Koldova with a self-assured smile.

However, the undisputed favourite among imm cologne visitors was a lamp whose appearance and use appeared at once self-effacing and utterly playful: Jack-O’-Lantern, individual spheres of light made from matt, mouth-blown glass that are suspended loosely from a delicate open metal frame (Brokis). Koldova hung Jack-O’-Lanterns in the passages leading up to her “Haus”, as if the captured light served to guide the way home. On the internal walls, she mounted groups of five modules that look like ornamental brass frames from which several jack-o’-lanterns can be loosely suspended.

The Jack-O’-Lanterns brought home the stories that “Das Haus” told in 2018. The successful experiment clearly demonstrated that light is a key emotional factor in home life, one with unbelievably varied levels in which light can take on both spatial and sculptural characteristics. Lucie Koldova surrounded light as if it were a jewel. It’s a shame that you couldn’t take it home, only the treasured memories.

Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Furniture, Interiors and Design: Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include the LivingKitchen China/CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the network of the interior decorating industry, Koelnmesse offers direct access to relevant products, contacts, competence and events.

Further information is available at: http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/
Further information about ambista: http://www.ambista.com/

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“Das Haus” 2018: living in light

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