Catellani & Smith and contract? An interesting sector for the brand, which is selected for prestigious realisations, in the hotel industry or for private residences. The sculptural, eclectic and essential lamps enter professional spaces (or site-specific installations) and change their atmosphere.
Between art and historical architecture
Merit also goes to the experience gained in contemporary art and historical architecture, such as Casa Battlò in Barcelona. A wine cellar, notably that of Pieropan in Veneto, becomes a magical place where barrels and vaulted ceilings lit by Catellani & Smith lamps transform the space into a place of contemporary rituals. We asked the company how it approaches the contract sector, including its demanding variables, while remaining a brand with an exclusive vocation that combines craftsmanship and technology.
What does 'tailor-made' mean for Catellani & Smith?
Since the very beginning of Catellani & Smith's history, in addition to the handcrafted production of lighting objects, Enzo Catellani has created unique 'off-the-shelf' pieces and commissioned installations, as well as set designs and installations for special events. The company has been engaged in the production of custom-made pieces for decades and collaborates with professionals in international projects. Tailor-made for Catellani & Smith means combining the client's instructions and requirements with the style that characterises us and expresses our concept of light. Our customers' expectations are therefore elaborated according to our vision: thanks to our in-house Technical Department - which follows both products and projects - and to the flexibility that characterises our production, which is entirely handmade by expert craftsmen, but always based on constant attention to technology, we are able to study customised proposals that meet the specific needs of our customers.
Who are the most common customers?
The clients who most frequently request custom designs are private individuals, but we have also developed many projects for hotels, restaurants and museums. Our 'case histories' are many and varied.
Have you ever developed site-specific projects?
There have been many projects developed to create site-specific lighting for a particular place since the 1990s (e.g. the lighting of the Church of Maguzzano in Lonato (Brescia), the Trees of Light installed in rue des Chartreux in Belgium, the Fil de Fer with a diameter of 3 metres for the Garden of the Milan Triennale). More recently, Enzo Catellani illuminated with a site-specific creation Alma Mater, a work by Yuval Avital in dialogue with Michelangelo Pistoletto's Third Paradise. Each custom creation is designed for the space it is intended for: just to mention a few examples: Casa Battlò in Barcelona, the Hotel Esplanade Tergesteo (Pd), the Villa Rothschild Kempinski in Frankfurt, the Seta Meat Lab in Bologna, the Haveli Restaurant in Kiel, the façade of the Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt, up to the recent project for the Cantine Pieropan in Soave (Vr). On our website, we have collected in the Projects section all the references - divided by type - realised over the years.
Does the way of thinking about a product change when it comes to custom-made?
In most cases, customers request special versions of models already in the catalogue, especially in terms of size and finish, in relation to specific space or setting requirements. However, when our customers' expectations require it, we develop ad hoc designs that then become unique, tailor-made creations. The development of a tailor-made product requires the same attention and study that we devote to a catalogue lamp, but the commitment is multiplied to find - in the shortest possible time - aesthetic and technological solutions that can meet expectations and arrive at the best proposal from a scenographic and lighting point of view. Timing is of great importance here. Every aspect is analysed, including costs of course, and once the project is approved, we enter the prototyping phase and then production.