Lasvit – New Langham, Chicago

Lasvit Creates a Brilliant Light & Design Experience within the New Langham, Chicago

Impressive Water-Inspired Glass Art Lighting Installations Complement Iconic Riverfront Property Combining traditional Bohemian glass making with innovative design and technology, Lasvit has created a breathtaking light and design experience within the lobby of The Langham, Chicago. Opened in July 2013, The Langham, Chicago is located in one of the city’s most famous downtown riverfront landmarks – the 52-story Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed building at 330 N. Wabash Avenue.

Lasvit’s in-house designers Jana Ruzickova and Tomas Hovorka in collaboration with London´s Richmond International have developed two elegant and expansive glass art installations which are contemporary in their design and true to the grandeur of the original Langham, London, whilst also celebrating the modern Mies van der Rohe building and city of Chicago. Inspired by the movement of the Chicago River, which flows through the city into Lake Michigan and neighbours the property on the south side, the sculptural installations feature coloured glass pebbles chosen to represent the reflective and fluid qualities of the water.

For the main lobby area of the hotel, Lasvit has created a striking focal point with a 60-foot installation designed by Jana Ruzickova in collaboration with Richmond International. Making use of the space’s ample height, the installation extends from the reception area to the tea lounge or Pavilion. The installation is comprised of hand-blown glass pebbles in two sets of colors, which are suspended at varying distances and lit from above with LED’s. The bubble-like pebbles are individually unique in shape and internally coated in liquid metal, thereby referencing water formations and creating a reflective, mirror-like effect. As visitors move away from the river, located closest to the reception area, and towards the Pavilion, the colour of the glass pebbles shift from blues and silvers to bronzes and coppers.

In the Palm Court, another Lasvit creation imparts additional visual interest and wonder to the hotel lobby. Designed by Richmond International and Lasvit´s Tomas Hovorka, the installation is much smaller in scale than its neighboring installation, with an organic, circular formation no greater than nine feet in diameter. Alike in concept, it features materials and colouring similar to the larger installation. Hand-blown glass pebbles in silver-blue and vibrant copper tones are suspended from the ceiling at different lengths, with the most depth in the centre and tapering out towards the edges. While the pebbles retain the unique, imperfect, and shimmering qualities of the nearby installation, they are flattened in form. Viewed from the side, the pebbles project subtle waves. From below, they resemble small reflective pools.

Based in the Czech Republic, Lasvit’s glass and lighting projects represent the artistry and centuries-old tradition of Czech glassmaking. The installations in The Langham, Chicago draw a connection to Czech tradition not only through Lasvit and their designers, both of whom are Czech, but also through the Mies van der Rohe-designed building that houses them. Among the architect’s other designs is the Tugendhat Villa in Brno, a masterpiece of the Modern Movement in Architecture, and one of the Czech Republic’s architectural icons. In a city with a strong Czech population and ancestry, the Czech traditions and connections present in Lasvit’s installations for The Langham, Chicago are a celebration of Chicago itself.


All Images © Lasvit 2015


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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