2016 marks the centenary of Birger Dahl’s birth, which Northern Lighting are commemorating with the launch of this timeless glass pendant.
Dahl designed the lamp in 1956 and installed it in the renovated Norwegian Parliament building two years later. Although Dahl is a classic mid-century design, its minimal form and smooth, unembellished surfaces still have a contemporary appearance today. The shade is made from mouth-blown glass and etched by a surface treatment that creates a smooth matt finish.
Dahl’s metal parts are dark grey or light green, or made in matt brass. The shade attaches to a metal disc at the top and makes space for a pair of concentric rings to slot into the opening down below. The pendant has the same understated features that characterise Dokka and Birdy – two other classic Birger Dahl designs also re-introduced by Northern Lighting.
Award-winning designer Birger Dahl (1916 – 1998) was a pioneer of contemporary Scandinavian lighting. The mid-century years were a formative period of his work, when he forged his signature streamlined style and launched a new vision of lighting design. Dahl’s career had actually begun the previous decade, when he became head of design at Norwegian electronics firm Sønnico and created the award-winning Dokka pendant lamp.
Dokka was the first lamp in Norway to receive a Golden Medal award at the prestigious Triennale di Milano, which brought Norwegian lighting under the international spotlight. While acclaimed for his lighting designs, Dahl is also considered to be one of Norway’s leading Post-war interior architects. Strict geometric shapes, such as circles, cones and cylinders, were the building blocks of Dahl’s design vocabulary, which he softened with gentle contours.
He emphasised the purity of form, highlighting the shape of the object rather than hiding it behind decorative details or layers of ornamentation. Sensibilities like these explain why his work still appears modern today, and why lighting designs such as Dokka and Birdy are so compatible with the interiors of our time.