Cast your eyes to the heavens and imagine a glorious chandelier illuminating the room, its form more of an art piece than a pendant lamp. willowlamp’s latest product release, The Halo, is a statement-making exploration of architectural lines and takes its starting point from the inspired work of Spanish modernist architect Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi is arguably most famous for the renowned Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, and it is this unforgettable cathedral with its soaring Neo-Gothic arches that lend The Halo its signature shape.
Before completing the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi was sadly killed by a tram in 1926, but his masterpiece was completed posthumously, thanks to the numerous plans and three-dimensional models that he left behind. Gaudi used inverted chain models to simulate the structural forces of compression because these force lines act the same while in tension. In the early half of the 20th century, when he worked, there were no computers or any mathematical way to calculate these force vectors.
Gaudi’s chain model method naturally captivated willowlamp Creative Director Adam Hoets, who trained and practiced as an architect, before founding willowlamp, a studio that makes creative use of ball chain.
Speaking of the design process behind The Halo pendant lamp, Hoets comments: ‘I initially had some sort of Gothic-looking cathedral design with multiple spires in mind.’ But his thinking evolved from this initial starting point to embrace his final idea for The Halo, which was to rotate a foundational chain shape approximately 128 times. ‘It resembles more of a futuristic teleportation device than a Neo-Gothic cathedral,’ he says with self-deprecating wit, ‘but nevertheless that’s where the idea first came from.’
Once the concept for The Halo was formalised, Hoets was then challenged to master the technical difficulties of prototyping this conceptual design for a pendant lamp.
‘The reason it took so long for this idea to develop was the problem of how to make ball chain attach to ball chain. I very nearly designed this piece in ordinary chain but at the last minute I came up with a very nifty tiny inconspicuous clip solution. This simple little clip now allows me the freedom to create pendant lamp designs without frames so it is a whole new direction entirely!’ he explains.
The resulting art chandelier is a technical, creative and aesthetic triumph. It appears to hover in space with an otherworldly, ethereal presence that will linger in your mind long after you’ve left the room – the halo effect, indeed!