Lázaro Rosa-Violán Shines a Light / by Suzanne Wales

Walk into any new restaurant or bar these days in Barcelona, and the interior has a strong chance of being created by Lázaro Rosa-Violán. More so if the décor has a marked French flavour, an abundance of palm fronds, strong graphic art and feature walls where row upon row of wine and liquor bottles are enclosed in glass vitrines – all hallmarks of this prolific interior designer whose work transcends the latest fads and accommodates a wide, cross-generational spectrum of tastes. (For an idea of the richness and scope of Rosa-Violán’s visual language, visit El Nacional in Barcelona, a mammoth ‘eating space’ transformed from an old garage.)

Given his speedy ascent, LRV’s first self-signed décor objects seem a little late to the party. Here they are however – two ‘families’ of lamps –  a collaboration between the new industrial design division at the Rosa-Violán studio and the Spanish decorative lighting brand Metalarte.

On the day of their debut, a group of journalists are gathered in a belvedere on the terrace of LRV’s studio – itself situated in a regal piso noble of a modernista apartment block in central Barcelona. Filled with fine antiques, mid-20th century design pieces, modern art, and bundles of textiles swatches and tile samples, the space revindicates the traditional role of the ‘decorator.’  Tellingly, Rosa-Violán explains the lamps’ design process not with a tablet but through drawings and crafted prototypes, accompanied by his ever-present dog Bosco.   

‘Frank’ comes in two models – standing and table format. It’s an elegant, all-purpose lamp with a solid brass support and fine leather detailing. Its subtle geometry harks back to the formal purity of Bauhaus.

Eva is more feminine – her rounded, solid marble ‘belly’ has a metal support to keep her balance.  One version comes with a cylindrical shade of bevelled glass, an object that is familiar in LRV’s interior design projects, which generally have a strong presence of art deco.

Metalarte has always displayed a canny eye for the next ‘name’ in Spanish design, inviting creatives such as Jaime Hayon and Curro Claret to take part in its catalogue when they were on the crest of their careers.  The addition of Lázaro Rosa-Violán is both timely and appropriate. 

Photos by: Eugeni Aguiló

Written by: Suzanne Wales