Lasvit’s Neverending Glory Collection
“We wanted to create just a ghost of the original chandeliers, or just the soul, the shadow, the shine of the original ones. If you imagine the grand, original chandeliers in these opera houses, they’re glorious, and the ‘neverending’ part relates to the profiles and the idea of infinite rotation—a neverending glory.”–Jan Plechác
For a glimpse into the future of design, head to Milan’s Magenta neighborhood in mid-April. There, in the leafy courtyard of a former tie factory, Spazio Rossana Orlandi dazzles crowds in town for the annual furniture fair with exhibitions that feature everything from student designs to the latest work by established names. Much of the buzz this year surrounded “Neverending Glory,” a collection of hand-blown glass chandeliers by Czech duo Jan Plechác and Henry Wielgus for Prague-based Lasvit. That one of the five works, a rippled feat of symmetry that resembles a giant toy top, emerged as the clear favorite came as no surprise to the designers, as they had based it on the famous chandelier at nearby La Scala.
“This project began with the inspiration of iconic chandeliers,” says Plechác, who met Wielgus during their studies at the Academy of Art, Architecture, and Design in Prague, and formed a studio with him last year. “Then we narrowed it down to five chandeliers from five major opera houses around the world, from Moscow to New York.” In addition to the ornate fixture of the Bolshoi Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera’s midcentury swirl, they settled on the chandeliers of the Palais Garnier in Paris, La Scala, and a hometown favorite, the Estates Theatre in Prague.
Rather than attempt to reproduce the intricate, multi-tiered originals, Plechác and Wielgus focused on their silhouettes. “We created outlines of the original chandeliers and rotated those outlines,” explains Plechác of the process of creating the five shapes that were transformed into large oak molds for Lasvit’s workshops. “Our aim was to make something very special but quite minimalistic—quite refined, but with big emotion.”
It’s a mission statement that resonates with that of Lasvit, founded in 2007 by Leon Jakimic to combine traditional Bohemian glassmaking with contemporary design. “We are pleased to give an opportunity to young designers and connect them with Czech master glassmakers,” says Filip Šubr of Lasvit, which has also collaborated with the likes of Nendo, Arik Levy, and Fabio Novembre. “And we love the interesting story behind the Neverending Glory collection and its principle of iconic styling and shapes.”
“We had followed the work of Jan and Henry from their studies at the Academy of Art, Architecture, and Design in Prague. They are two of the shooting stars of the Czech Republic.”–Filip Šubr of Lasvit
Now at work on a new project for Lasvit, Plechác and Wielgus are also interested in expanding their debut collection, perhaps taking the “Neverending” part to heart. “We wanted to create just a ghost of the original chandeliers, or just the soul, the shadow, the shine of the original ones,” says Plechác. “If you imagine the grand, original chandeliers in these opera houses, they’re glorious, and the ‘neverending’ part relates to the profiles and the idea of infinite rotation—a neverending glory.”