Our London Insights: Magic Happens When Old Meets New

Published 30 Sep 2019

Because we strive to be the best glassmakers in the world, we need to be right where our customers are – abroad. So even though we are a Czech company, we have nine foreign sales offices. Not only do our installations and collections inspire others abroad, but we also have the opportunity to inspire ourselves. One of our offices is based in London – the internationally acclaimed “art center”. What have we learnt while working there? What are some design inspirations which are particular to London? What are some of the LASVIT “must-sees” while visiting? Let us share some inspirational insights with you…

Fancy an artistic cocktail of the old and the new?

London’s reputation of its rich cultural life, galleries and exhibitions goes well beyond the British Isles. It can boast a unique mix of history and modern architecture. Next to the historic monuments like Buckingham Palace or Tower Bridge you can find iconic pieces of modern architecture by Zaha Hadid or Foster + Partners. New hotels, bars, headquarters and offices try to preserve the historic aspects of the original historic buildings in which they are housed, and rework them in new, modern ways.

What happens if you have an old shoplifting gang as artistic inspiration…

The general fascination with the history of the city – and its intriguing stories – is for instance reflected in the former Scotland Yard’s headquarters which was just recently turned into the Hyatt Hotel. HBA Dubai, in collaboration with our London-based designer, Linda Prochazka, created a unique lighting installation which tells the story of an infamous female shoplifting gang called the Forty Elephants. Apparently, these ladies were an everyday nightmare for the police station which was once based right at Scotland Yard.

Linda followed the brief from HBA and tried to imagine the atmosphere of the places the gang had robbed: “I pictured in my mind how they shatter the window display and burst inside, swiping all the jewelry. I saw the place when Scotland Yard came filled with glass shards and here and there a piece of jewel they hadn’t managed to steal. The buried necklace in the center of the ball of glass shards consists of exactly 40 ‘diamonds’, each symbolizing one woman of the gang.“ If you would like to admire the installation yourself, you can stop by at Hyatt’s bar (name) where it is placed. And while you sip a cocktail, you can try to count all forty diamonds.

You will work with designers from all around the world

Linda is not the only designer who collaborates with other studios from abroad while in London. The whole city is a hub for interior designers and architectural studios. Many of them have their headquarters based here and so it is often in London where their projects are initiated and run. For example, while working in London, our Managing Director UK Roman Žákovský has already managed to also realize projects in Dubai or New York. He also points out the great international spirit of London that has even increased in recent years: “In London, you can find people really from all around the world. And this is especially true in design circles. You never know what cultural knowledge or language skills you might utilize at your next business meeting.”

London’s art scene never sleeps – and neither do we

In the UK, we also collaborate with some of the most prestigious British brands. Our collections and glassware are sold in the famous Harrods department store and we also create original glass trophies for the leaving members of the boards of the All England Club in Wimbledon. This year, we even made the trophies for the Brit Awards, and the list of our upcoming projects seems to get longer by the day.

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