A La Fresca

Preciosa Lighting

Spanish design heats up Germany at IMM Cologne

Interior designers get their inspiration and creative juices flowing for the upcoming year at imm cologne, the international furniture and interiors fair. This is where industry leaders discover new products across the design spectrum. Each year the fair creates ‘Das Haus,’ a large-scale installation of a living situation. Organizers choose a different designer or design team to create the living area based on the designers’ personal ideas and inspiration. In 2020, the influential design studio is Valencia-based MUT Design.

Preciosa Lighting first had the opportunity to work with MUT for the 2018 Wallpaper Handmade exhibition during Milan Design Week. We produced the gorgeous Chromo table lamp with the designers Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón. For Das Haus, the pair have asked us to contribute two light designs to their space, entitled ‘a la fresca.’ We asked Mr. Sánchez to explain more about the living situation they chose to develop.

Passion from Home

“Our Das Haus is a reinterpretation of the Mediterranean house and Mediterranean lifestyle, a contemporary review of elements such as porches and patios. It speaks of our roots, of our heritage,” he said. “It is inspired by traditional architecture and it pays tribute to our culture. Sitting “a la fresca” is something we love in Valencia. We like living in the open air, especially on summer nights, sharing with our neighbours, with our family and with our friends. That is why we chose this specific theme. It says a lot about who we are, how we live and where we draw inspiration.”

Das Haus is no small undertaking. It is constructed from scratch, painted and furnished, visited by thousands, discussed and photographed. All for only the seven day run of the show. The simulated interior is a combination of architecture, interior design and furnishings and gives the design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living.

“We wanted our house and the objects within to be soft. The structure is mostly made of circular and oval shapes and so are the pieces of furniture, lamps and decor,” said Mr. Sánchez. “The same philosophy applies to the colours: light, calm, natural colours such as sand, white, grey. We did not want loud, flamboyant colours. We want to generate a sensation of peace, balance, quietness.”

The Crystal Valley Touch

MUT’s design for the pendants was inspired by something as simple as a plum. It is a compelling solitaire that features a tube pressed into the sphere. The lights will hang in the personal cleanliness area of the home.

“Plum’s have this evocative heart-shaped hollow and we wanted to recreate it by taking the light tube out of the lampshade,” Mr. Sánchez explained. “It is also something unexpected and fun because it is not usual that tubes or bulbs are placed on the outside of a lamp.”

Mr. Sánchez and Mr. Villalón also wanted to recreate Chromo using a colour palette more in tune with the rest of the space’s design.

“The idea of a different version (of Chromo) was really attractive to us,” said Mr. Sánchez. “The light will be displayed in the active area which is the social part of the house.”

Passion for Glass

The continued cooperation between MUT and Preciosa is strengthening the designers’ love of glass.

“It is such a beautiful material and the way it is treated in Preciosa simply fascinates us. The result is always spectacular,” Mr. Sánchez said. “The craftsmanship behind, the exquisiteness of the production process, having the chance to experiment with glass is a privilege. We hope we can keep working with the Preciosa team for many years because we really love it.”

Each year Das Haus presents a widely divergent range of styles–from minimalist to extravagant, from efficient to sensuous. The installation blends current trends and products into a finely tuned interior design.

“Our Das Haus is an invitation to visitors to experience first-hand the Mediterranean way of life,” said Mr. Sánchez. “We hope they will get to know us better through our work because it is very personal and closely related to who we are, where we come from and our particular approach to design.”