December 1, 2009
The Reign of Spain
With an emphasis on innovation and affordability, the country is distinguishing itself as a major power in lighting design.
Over the past few years, Spain has experienced something of an architectural renaissance. The explosion of design creativity has resulted in landmarks like the renovated Santa Caterina Market, in Barcelona, by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue; and the City of Arts and Sciences complex in Valencia, by Santiago Calatrava. But it has also spawned a new appreciation for lighting, with specialized manufacturers developing innovative and attractive fixtures for all settings—residential, hospitality, and workplace.
Mikel Orbe, of the Trade Commission of Spain, attributes the success of homegrown lighting companies to their willingness to adapt their products to individual interior designers and architects. Not only are the designs visually compelling and technologically advanced; they’re competitively priced too. “In today’s economy, everyone is looking for good value,” Orbe says. Perhaps owing to Spain’s temperate climate and social atmosphere, many companies, such as Gandia Blasco, Metalarte, and Vibia, have carved out a niche in outdoor lighting. The products shown here offer original solutions, spanning the superminimal and the playfully decorative, for enhancing any indoor or outdoor space.