Once upon a time, the word 'chandelier' was, for the most part, synonymous with glittering crystal lighting fixtures hanging from over-decorated ceilings or in old gothic structures. But the international design fraternity has ushered in a new age of chandelier; ultra-modern and innovative creations that are intended to illuminate the most contemporary of homes or public spaces.
Anyone who has been to the private room at Bar Breton in New York could not have missed the chandelier, made from hundreds of coloured glasses. It was so successful that its maker, Umproject (umproject.com), has put it into production. The Nebu chandelier (right), which can be customised, is made from about 250 vintage and antique goblets on a powder-coated aluminium frame.
Murano, an Italian brand noted for its glass work, is showcasing bold chandeliers. Under the Andromeda (andromedamurano.it) aegis comes Melt Meee, a non-traditional capsule collection of four chandeliers in seven unusual colours, including violet, bone and opalescent pewter. Tiny lamp shades appear to be tumbling off the structure, which, from a distance, resembles lopsided tentacles. The result is as baffling as it is spectacular. The Melt Meee line is being launched simultaneously in Venice, Miami, London, Dubai and New Delhi. Enquiries can be made at Zecca (G/F, 77 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, tel: 2384 6288).
Milan-based designer Francisco Gomez Paz (gomezpaz.com) recently unveiled his Hope chandelier, created at the behest of Italian architectural lighting firm Luceplan (luceplan.com). Paz used as his inspiration traditional multifaceted Bohemian and Venetian hand-blown glass crystals. The result was an ultra-light polycarbonate version that looks like a series of sparkling spectacle lenses strung together. It is clear so it can refract and diffuse light. The piece is enjoying much acclaim in the design world. Enquiries can be made through Luceplan's Hong Kong distributor, Elements Enterprises (1/F, 28 Russell Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2295 0777).
Also creating a stir is the Revolving Chandelier (left) from Dutch designer Bertjan Pot (bertjanpot.nl). It comprises four half-reflective, half-transparent light shades, shaped like a propeller, all spinning slowly, driven by air heated by halogen bulbs. Only 12 of the pieces are being produced.
American furniture and lighting brand BoConcept (boconcept.com) has an intriguing series of chandeliers; the Multi-Ball is seven shiny black chrome ball-like pieces, each inserted with a bulb and all strung from the ceiling. Its Tulip style is made up of white tulip/trumpet-shaped pieces attached to a sparkling mirrored ball, while the Chandel-Star is a globe-shaped fixture that appears to be made from small, connected snowflake-like flowers, all in brilliant white.