Cape Town - When guests at a new US hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, look up, they will admire a large chandelier that is the handiwork of a Salt River, Cape Town, lighting design company.
The custom-made chandelier is in transit across the Atlantic and was commissioned by Fabiola Troncoso, an associate at Chicago’s Simeone Deary Design Group, for a new 21-storey hotel that is opening in Charlotte next year.
Created by willowlamp, this is no ordinary chandelier. It weighs more than 1ton, and is made from stainless steel and ball chains. It is one of the biggest projects willowlamp has done, said client services and sales manager Cristina Pacini.
“It’s definitely in the top five of the biggest (chandeliers) we have done. Another that was probably our biggest is in Perth, Australia,” said Pacini.
The lockdown put the brakes on the manufacturing process, but it took four employees working round the clock for seven months to eventually complete it.
Pacini said: “Lockdown was a huge factor it took seven months. We were closed and suppliers were closed and still right now some of our suppliers are only working two a days week.”
She added that they did at least have a commitment from the American hotel which made the project run more smoothly: “Luckily, they placed the deposit last year December so we did manage to order a lot of things before lockdown, but some materials hadn’t been delivered before the lockdown came into effect.”
The company’s founder and creative director Adam Hoets said he conceptualised and submitted two proposals based on a mandala design which they are well known for.
The chandelier is composed of stainless steel and cascading tiers of metallic ball chain. Hoets said: “But this piece is not circular like its mandala predecessor. Instead, it is a long, narrow ellipse shape. Sort of a ‘squashed’ mandala.”
Pacini said the chandelier would be hung from above the bar at the American hotel which is why they needed to really be mindful of the design.
“That is why they needed it to be interesting and eye-catching from all aspects not just from below or just from the side.”
Once installed, the chandelier will be illuminated by more than 31 LED lamps. These will hang on suspended cables that are hidden within each of the extruded geometrical chain curtain shapes.