Willowlamp’s latest large custom-designed chandelier, the extraordinary Enchanted Forest, is a focal piece of grand proportions. This 18-square meter masterpiece was commissioned by Rene Dekker Interiors and conceptualised for a private residence in London.
An open brief from the client allowed the willowlamp team free rein to interpret and develop the concept. “The client supplied us with several conceptual mood boards and an organic conceptual drawing of two massive ceiling-mounted installations placed in a large, open-plan dining and lounge room,” says willowlamp founder and creative director, Adam Hoets. “The larger of the two installations was to be positioned above the lounge zone and the smaller above the dining room table,” he explains.
The project really started taking form when the client saw willowlamp’s Faraway Tree pendant and fell in love. The fantastical Faraway Tree has its roots in the graphic representations of trees in architectural drawings. This then served as the inspiration for the new bespoke design and it evolved into an ‘enchanted forest’ of architectural proportions with a series of spiraling and interwoven tree branches suspended at multiple levels.
Due to the sheer size of the design, the production process was divided into separate modular elements that need to be pieced together on-site. The main “tree” covers an area of 6m x 3m and the middle tree branch alone weighs about 500kg.
It comes as little surprise then that the fixing solution was a challenge. “When creating the fixing solution we had to ensure that the upper tree branch is able to mount to precise fixing points under a suspended ceiling. We worked in collaboration with the architects and engineers to develop the solution to this,” Hoets explains.
As with all willowlamp designs, the Enchanted Forest is made from strands of suspended ball chain and laser-cut stainless steel. Other distinctive features and customizations include special concealed LED lighting systems that are independently programmed to adjust and control the lighting. “The client didn’t want to see any light source other than the LED edge lights wrapping around the branch. They didn’t want to see any individual bright bulbs”, says Hoets of the challenges involved. To achieve this, he had to find a special G4 LED lamp that was flush-mounted with the top of the tree branch that would illuminate the upper canopies while remaining invisible to the eye.
Willowlamp has completed a number of ambitious customization projects, including the recent award-winning installation for The Waiting Room of the new Crown Towers Perth hotel in Australia. The design, consisting of a series of four chandeliers based on willowlamp’s popular Mandala No. 1 design, was the largest ever custom design that willowlamp has created to date and earned the willowlamp team second prize in the category for The Best Use of Decorative Lighting in a Hotel Project at this year’s darc awards (UK).