In 1955 Ilmari Tapiovaara, a remarkable specialist in chairs and furniture, undertook a project to create a lamp.
His source of inspiration at the time was Maya the Bee (German: Die Biene Maja), a friendly character from a 1912 children’s book, known as Maija in Finland.
The Maija collection is an expression of the feeling of light that is common in the cities of the Baltic: from the inside out. Tapiovaara conceived a column of small metal superimposed discs from which the light hangs out from a shimmering honeycomb, shrouded in warm life. The tripod on which the structure rests and the recesses that allow the light to disperse upwards are particularly striking. The discs were originally in a light pink colour, subsequently white was produced and nowadays Santa & Cole offers both alternatives.
Tapiovaara stated: “It is impossible to create a new object without a point of reference. Nature is the best and nearest manual for industrial designers whether in terms of its function, in other words, functional requirements, or in terms of shape, colour, material and their arrangement in appropriate proportions”. And so we present his only lamp in three different versions: the floor lamp, the table lamp and the pendant lamp.
The Maija series is part of the Design Classics collection, a series of objects created at different times of modernism with the aim of putting forward critical discussion on creation in industrial design beyond mere trends.
Among the many projects that this architect has undertaken, we may stand out the restoration of several theaters, together with Ignasi de Solà-Morales and Xavier Fabré. This includes the restoring project of Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu, after the unfortunate fire that destroyed it in 1994.
Born in 1960 in Salt (Girona, Spain), Lluís Dilmé studied architecture at the ETSAB (Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona.) Before ending his studies, he started collaborating at Ignasi de Solà-Morales' studio in the projects of the Valls theatre and the Torelló theatre, from 1985 to 1988. He then set up a town-planning and design studio with Xavier Fabré, Dilmé & Fabré. Together, they have undertaken a great number of projects in many different kinds of spaces, educational, residential, sanitary, museums and exhibitions, and public spaces: L'Escola d'Ensenyament Integrat de Música I Dansa Oriol Martorell (1995-1997), or various livings in El Prat de Llobregat (2002), Girona (2002), or Figueres (2002).
Having worked with Solà-Morales in theatre projects, the three architects assumed the restoration of Barcelona's Opera, the Gran teatre del Liceu, with Eulàlia Serra. In 2000 Solà-Morales, Fabré and Dilmé were awarded the Cultural Heritage National Prize handed by the Catalan Government (Generalitat). They had already been consulted in 1986 before a fire destroyed the theatre in 1994, thus their restoration plan became a reconstruction and enlargement project. They worked on rebuilding the Opera "as it was before, where it was", updated in all the technological aspects.
In Dilmé and Fabré's work as designers, we may stand out the specific furniture he developed for the new Liceu theater, pieces of furniture that have been conceived in a modern language, but bearing in mind their setting. The Liceu lamp, reedited by Santa & Cole, the armchairs and the red velvet chairs are part of this set.
The experience in restoring theatres of Lluís Dilmé and Xavier Fabré continued with the restoration project of the Teatre Teatre Guastavino in Vilassar de DAlt (Barcelona, 2002); of the Teatre Cal Ninyo in Sant Boi de Llobregat (2002); of the Teatre Principal in Sabadell (2002), built in 1860 and considered an important piece of Catalonia's architectural cultural heritage; of the Teatre Cooperativa in Barberà del Vallès (2002); or the conversion of Can Gibert in the Montserrat monastery into an Arts Center (2003).