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.