Bulbs and brutalism: Bomma presents a new lighting collection inside Berlin's Czech Embassy
At the beginning, Czech glass maker Bomma was driven by a desire to present the unique glass technology first devised by its mother brand Bohemia Machine in the mid-1990s. Its innovative robotic glass cutting, replacing hand-made work, completely changed glass production, and this advanced technology has been exemplified through collaborations with both Czech and international designers, including Olgoj Chorchoj, Maxim Velčovský, Jakub Berdych, Rony Plesl and Arik Levy. Now, Bomma has shifted its production in new directions yet again.
The company debuted its new lighting collection at Maison et Objet in Paris earlier this month. The diverse offering consists of seven series, designed by leading Czech practitioners. Olgoj Chorchoj developed experiments in free-blowing, eschewing moulds and creating a series dubbed 'Tim', conceived as giant glass bubbles in organic shapes. Meanwhile, Dechem Studio has created 'Phenomena', a lightly coloured collection of three fixtures in elementary geometric shapes with sophisticated brass hinges; and Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus (of Jan and Henry) found inspiration in everyday poetry and channelled traditional Chinese lanterns into inexpensive glass fixtures (called 'Lantern').
Young designer Edward Herrmann expanded his small series of 'Ignis' lamps; while Bomma designer and glass specialist Oto Svoboda created amorphous shiny fixtures called 'Soap'. Finally, Kateřina Handlová, a recent graduate of Prague's Academy of Art, Architecture and Design (UMPRUM), re-developed her graduation work and proposed 'Shibari' and 'Tied-Up Romance', which combine pure crystal shapes with sophisticated handmade leather harnesses, in reference to the Japanese art of bondage.
As a tribute to the continuity of monumental Czech glass design and brutalist architecture, Bomma displayed the collection inside the Czech Embassy in Berlin, built in the period 1970–1978 by celebrated modernists Vladimír and Věra Machoninovi. The building is a superlative example of Czech brutalist architecture – conceived as a complex work of art, to connect architecture, design, craft, art and glass decoration.