Charismatic Austrian lighting designer Peter Straka’s impressive studio, Kaia, revolves around the ethos of the Wiener Werkstätte, the early-20th-century Viennese workshop that evolved from the city’s Secessionist architectural movement and brought together artists, architects and designers.
Designs are most usually chicly minimal welded-metal creations (from £200 to £8,000) – from sleek orb chandeliers (first picture) to stylishly austere linear candelabras – however, bespoke work involves inventing new hanging systems or creating experimental originals. A recent US commission was for bronze suspension lamps (second picture) – a variation on his LIA design with its trio of long vertical tubular lamps – for the interiors of the S Russell Groves-designed Halcyon development in Manhattan. Others include pieces of a gloriously grand scale: a 2.2m-wide chandelier for a restaurant and a 3.5m-wide suspension lamp for a New York residence. A bronze and concrete vertical candelabra (third picture) created for the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition in Milan earlier this year is also particularly striking.
So technical and time-consuming is the work that Straka can only manage to take on between five to 10 bespoke projects per year. “Our products are designed around the ultimate in harmony and balance,” says Straka. Worth the wait, then.