Exotic lights

A custom Protea 1500 Smoke for The Ritz-Carlton Chicago.

Willowlamp has designed exotic patterns for table and standing lamps for a villa in Dubai in one of its largest orders

South African lighting company Willowlamp recently designed one of its largest order of chandeliers for a villa in Dubai, UAE.

Known for its exotic designs inspired by nature and geometric patterns, Willowlamp supplied 64 lights with a mix of Protea and Mandala designs. These also included pendants and table lamps in various sizes from its basic collection. 

Commenting on some of the pieces designed for the project, a spokesperson for Willowlamp says: “The impressive Mandala No 2 draws inspiration from Islamic sacred geometry and is illuminated by G4 halogen or LED (light-emitting diode) lighting systems. The shade size of the design measures 1,000 mm in diameter and although usually it has a total height of 1,400 mm, for this order, we created a ceiling-mounted version, squeezing it down to just 500 mm in total height.” 

The other stunning design that made up the bulk of this order, is the Protea chandelier. Once again, using sacred geometry, Willowlamp pays homage to the national flower of South Africa with multiple tiers and a chain that hangs in layers of looped petals. 

For the order, the Proteas were tailored at different heights including 1,200 mm (standard), 1,600 mm, 2,000 mm, 3,700 mm and 5,400 mm.

Protea ... pays homage to the national flower of South Africa with multiple tiers and a chain.

Protea ... pays homage to the national flower of South Africa with multiple tiers and a chain.

“The order was completed with two different sizes of the circular cropped table lamps and pendants. These drum-shaped lights are available as pendants, table lamps or standing lamps in a variety of sizes and features the signature ball chain design that Willowlamp is known for,” the spokesperson adds. 

All Willowlamp designs can be tailored in various finishes and specifications to suit individual needs. Production takes six to 12 weeks resulting in beautifully unique pieces.

The company has been associated with projects in the Middle East for many years. It supplied Droplet 700 and Protea 700 to Al-Nooh Wood Design and Spiral Nebula to Horizon Interiors, Bahrain. 

For Mena House Hotel in Giza, Egypt, it custom-designed an oversized version of its ‘Flower of Life’ chandelier in chrome that weighed around 400 kg, was 6.5 m in length and 2.7 m in diameter.

It has custom-designed Protea 1300 for the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. In conjunction with Roots Design, the company has supplied to three projects in Saudi Arabia. 

It has also carried out several projects in the UAE including the Liwa Suites (custom pieces) and Shangri-La hotel Abu Dhabi, both in Abu Dhabi; and The Ritz-Carlton Dubai and a batched order for Thani Investments’ Dubai Golf City villa. Other assignments in the UAE include a project in Sharjah that involved the supply of standing lamps for Murano Lighting.

The order for Thani Investments was one of the most challenging projects executed by Willowlamp in the Gulf region. “Projects with special requests or custom work are always challenging. For this Dubai project, we were under very strict deadlines and needed third-party involvement for certification. Some countries, including Saudi Arabia, require specific tests to be done before the import is allowed. These certification tests are done by third parties and are very rigorous,” says the spokesperson. 

The Mandala designs ... for the villa in Dubai.

The Mandala designs ... for the villa in Dubai.

Commenting on the Middle East market, he says: “We are hoping to tap into the Middle East market as previous orders show that our designs are popular in this region. With regards to opening an office, I think we are more likely to partner with an agent who has its feet on the ground in that market and is already established since this is our business model for places like the UK, Australia, and Turkey.”

Since its inception in 2005, Willowlamp, with architect Adam Hoets at the helm, has pioneered an innovative and artisanal method of producing highly intricate and unique decorative lighting, using nature’s blueprint as inspiration. The result is a brilliant array of objets d’art that now suspend from the ceilings of globally renowned hospitality, retail and commercial sites. 

Hoets devised an ingenious system of attaching ball-chains to laser-cut steel frames to create a curtain of chains. This technique produces a collection of softly swaying pendants and architectural pieces with raw material or brightly hued finishes. With ethereal descriptions like the ‘Enchanted Faraway Tree’ or ‘Moonflower’, these artisanal works have captured hearts and garnered an impressive collection of design awards.

Willowlamp’s signature pendants emit not only light but also creative energy, and this is a key part of the brand’s ethos. 

Hoets comments: “Our designs fuse organic forms with high-tech materials and processes to create a dramatic new genre of lighting. Each fixture is the result of collaboration between the needs of the user, the creativity of the designer and the skills of the fabricator. Our responsibility is to harness creativity and transform it into high-quality, beautiful objects for everyday use. Not only can one choose from an array of striking, unique designs, but can also choose his or her own size, colours or finishes.”