multiple shadow house

 
 

A light installation by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson for the opening of the new building and new exhibition spaces of the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen. Multiple Shadow House was shown in New York in 2010 and at the Musée d'art contemporain in Montréal, in 2017.

At BLOX, it is in a smaller so what will be, presumably, a temporary exhibition and event space at the first level up from the entrance and book shop and before the main exhibition.

This area has been divided into three simple but linked spaces of different sizes to create what feels like a set of giant boxes.

At the back of each space, strong coloured lights are set low down at floor level to project a wash of colour up and forward across the front wall but when anyone enters the space they create a series of sharp overlapping silhouettes onto the front wall that, with people in the space, becomes a screen.

Each silhouette, created by one of the lights, seems to have a distinct colour and it is  the overlap of the silhouettes that is black. These multiple silhouettes are stronger in colour towards the centre and drop back becoming lighter or paler to left and right to create a sense of three dimensions in a light effect that should surely be and look flat.

The colours of the lights and the overlapping mixtures of colours are different in each space and all curiously quite subtle or at least not glaring and the pattern of overlapping silhouettes is intriguing … normally, with a single shadow, although the outline can be distorted by the angle of the light, limbs and movement, although they are elongated, can be quickly recognised and identified but here, although the shadows are 'larger than life' it is the multiplication of the image and the pattern of the overlap that is confusing so, with a group of people in the room, or even with someone on their own, the common response seems to be to exaggerate movements just to distinguish a hand or a foot from the limbs of someone else so light, instead of bringing clarity, seems to inspire the exaggeration or distortion of a stance or a movement.

 

Visitors become distracted - as they realise that the patterns of their multiple silhouettes respond to what they are doing or how they are standing - and, as they become absorbed, they seem less and less aware that they are illuminated by those same lights so there is an overlap of watchers watched as they become performers so it is interesting to stand quietly at the back to watch an impromptu performance.

 

continues until 10th October 2018

Dansk Arkitektur Center / Danish Architecture Centre
Bryghuspladsen 10
1473 Copenhagen K

 

 

the only selfie you will see posted to this site

&Tradition for 3daysofdesign

 

 

Until recently, &Tradition had their showrooms and studio on Paper Island, right in the centre of the city, but those former warehouses, where the newspaper industry had stored paper for printing - so hence the name - are being demolished to make way for a major redevelopment of apartments and a new inner-city swimming pool.

So &Tradition have moved across the city and are now established in a fine 18th-century town house that overlooks the King's Garden.

 

The change could hardly be more dramatic. Visiting the new showrooms and new studio and offices of the design company for the first time was one of the most interesting revelations of 3daysofdesign … or rather one of the most amazing and, to be honest, one of the most appropriate and clever transformations for a design company I have seen.

Don't get me wrong …. the old showroom, designed by the Copenhagen architects Norm, was dramatic with impressive space but the collection always looked slightly lost and, to be honest, it was difficult to make that step to imagining how that furniture might look in the sort of spaces we actually occupy.

the old studio on Paper Island

Furniture and lighting from &Tradition has been the usual mix of most Danish design companies ... so good classic designs - like the Mayor Sofa designed by Arne Jacobsen and Flemming Larsen in 1939 or the Flower Pot light by Verner Panton from 1969 - alongside new furniture commissioned from designers like Jaime Hayon.

With the move of location comes a new tag line … &Tradition Home of a Collector. It takes the furniture up a notch or three to break away from the crowded middle ground of Danish design companies and puts the furniture into a clearly domestic but very comfortable setting. This is Copenhagen interiors at their most stylish.

 

The house has a very grand entrance from the archway from the street but beyond is an incredibly pleasant courtyard and there is a new café.

If there were clear new trends from 3daysofdesign this year it was the use of named and well-known independent stylists - rather than in-house designers - and a growing number of design stores that have a café. This is furniture buying as a destination trip. And no ... that's not snide sarcasm … I only get round these events with in-flight refuelling of caffeine.

It is not all room settings here, for there are good displays of lighting and a couple of exhibition areas with a good small show about the background to the Little Petra Chair that was designed by Viggo Boesen in 1938 - after a trip to New York - and this chair is the latest addition to the &Tradition collection.

&Tradition, Kronprinsessegade 4, Copenhagen

 

 

the IRMA hen

Irma Chicken.jpeg
 

 

the famous roof-top neon sign of the egg-laying hen was installed in 1936 to advertise the supermarket IRMA .... the Schepler family opened their first store selling eggs, milk and butter in 1886 at Ravnsborggade 13 a block back from the lake ... but the sign was dismantled around a year ago for the roof to be rebuilt and for building work on a new or remodelled attic apartment

the sign is back and its return will be celebrated by a special festival on Saturday 26th May starting at 4pm with, appropriately, an egg and spoon race around the lake

CPH Light Festival - around Islands Brygge

 

Orb Family by Pipaluk Supernova and Thomas Jørgensen

Emil Holms Kanal

2 February - 2 March

 

Reflections by Silla Herbst

Emil Holms Kanal

from 2 February and then permanent

 

Balloon Forest by Delphine Piault and Frédéric Dilé

Kulturhuset, Islands Brygge 18

2 - 28 February

 

Eternal Sundown by Mads Vegas

Kalvebod Brygge 5

2 February - 2 March

 

CPH Light Festival 2018

 
 

 

CPH Light Festival is running through February, with Frost Festival 18, with sound and light installations around the city.

The Wave, by Mikkel Meyer and Jonas Fehr, has returned for a second winter at Ofelia Plads on the harbour immediately north of the National Theatre and on the other side of the harbour to the Opera House.

There are forty triangles, each 4 metres high, set in line along the mole. The light responds to the movement of people as they walk down through the triangles and the haunting sound carries across the harbour to the park beside the Opera House.

 

The Wave, Ofelia Plads, Copenhagen 4 February and 25th March

programme of the installations for CPH LIGHT FESTIVAL

1958 was a good year for design

the display at Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen with the three famous chairs that Arne Jacobsen designed in 1958 for the SAS Royal Hotel with the floor-standing lamp from the same year

 

This year - through 2018 - Fritz Hansen will mark the 60th anniversary of the furniture designed by Arne Jacobsen for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.

The Egg and The Swan were shown to the public for the first time at the Formes Scandinaves exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in November 1958 and at the showroom of Fritz Hansen in January 1959. The hotel was completed and opened in 1960.

Furniture was produced by Fritz Hansen for the 275 rooms and for the public spaces of the hotel - perhaps the most significant contract for any major modern furniture company. 

Fritz Hansen has just released a limited edition of The Egg and there will be anniversary editions of The Drop chair in September and of The Swan in December.

The hotel is one of the most important examples of what German critics describe usefully as Gesamtkunstwerk or total design. These chairs, on their own, would be considered as outstanding designs but Jacobsen, with a small design team - the studio was in his own home - produced the designs for the building; the interior designs for complex public spaces including the lobby with its circular staircase and the large transit hall for the airline; designs for all the architectural hardware including door handles and stair rails; a phenomenal range of furniture including several other chairs, tables, bedside cupboards; rugs; light fittings and even the glassware, silverware and cutlery for the dining room. A truly remarkable achievement.

Republic of Fritz Hansen

an anniversary ... the PH 5 at 60

 

The PH 5 light designed by Poul Henningsen was first produced by Louis Poulsen, the Danish lighting company, in 1958. For the anniversary the company has produced the light in new combinations of colours and they have also launched a scaled-down version of the light ... the overall diameter of the original design is 500mm and 267mm high and the new PH 5 MINI has a diameter of 300mm and is 163mm high.

Louis Poulsen

the PH 5 was featured in a post here in November on this site in the series design classic

Anker & co

 

Anker at Århusgade 120 in Copenhagen represent a number of leading lighting manufacturers including the Venetian company Barovier & Toso, Catellani & Smith from Bergamo, the Belgian manufacturers Wever & Ducré, the Austrian company XAL from Graz and the Swedish lighting company Wästberg.

One interesting display showed the effect of different light sources not just on the overall tone and warmth or coolness of the light but, by using a set of colouring crayons in each section, showed how different colours are changed by the different sources of artificial light.

anker

 

Hay for 3daysofdesign

 

For 3daysofdesign, the design company Hay have taken over Lindencrones Palæ on Sankt Annæ Plads (Lindencrone’s Palace on Saint Anne’s Square). So going to this event was an opportunity to look around a pretty amazing building but for Hay it gave them dramatic settings for their furniture, lighting and kitchen and tableware. One large room had the Result Chair and Pyramid Table … maybe a first for a display designer or stylist to have so much space that they could stack so many tables so high.

Just in terms of general design principles, the show highlighted again an important aspect of Danish interiors … that in many Danish homes furniture and fittings of very different periods and styles are deliberately mixed together … so starkly modern lighting or steel and glass furniture in an old apartment that has panelling or ornate plasterwork and sash windows - though perhaps not often on the scale of this Palæ. 

Or in a starkly modern home you will find either a carefully-chosen chair from the classic period of Danish design in the 1950s and 60s or old and much-loved pieces of furniture that have been inherited.

One general but simple lesson here in the Hay display was that choosing tableware and so on carefully and then using multiples but leaving it all out as open storage on display can look pretty good.

For Hay, the building also provided an impressive setting for showing off, with pride, their latest products and for welcoming and entertaining visitors who could sit in the calm and quiet of an old entrance passage used as a temporary cafe or people could have a coffee out in the sun of the courtyard that has been fitted out with Hay’s Palissade furniture. 

Hay

 

Above from Louis Poulsen

Louis Poulsen have launched Above … a new pendant light designed by Mads Odgård. 

Made in spun aluminium, the simple but beautifully-proportioned shape is a steep-sided cone that is open at the top and bottom but the line of the side is continued, without a break or change in material, to run up and over the top to form a broad loop - almost like a handle - that holds the flex. 

There are four sizes - the largest with a diameter of 550mm - and the shades are either matt black or matt white and both with a white interior. They form a pool of light below but the narrower beam of light up, and the dramatic under-lighting of the loop, gives a strong sense of a solid sculptural form and a distinct element of drama.

This starkly minimalist design is stunning but it also illustrates really important lessons for other manufacturers … the more minimal the design, the more important the precise line and the proportion of the form becomes and, as with Above, the more that decoration is stripped away and the more that details are simplified, then the quality of production and quality of materials become paramount.

The small version of the light has a diameter of 175mm but there are also options for intermediate sizes at 250mm and 400mm so the design is minimal but the possible effects are infinite from tightly-controlled spot lighting from a small single low-hung light, to lines of lights over a work surface at a uniform height to the most dramatic groupings of lights of different sizes in a group and set at different levels.  

Louis Poulsen

Mads Odgård