Richard Meier’s lighting venture might bear his name, but the Pritzker Prize-winning architect insists that he didn’t mastermind its first line of fixtures, which debuted Wednesday at the Ralph Pucci showroom in New York. “They’re Ana’s—she did the drawings,” he says. “My role was to comment when asked.”
That Ana would be Richard’s daughter, Ana Meier, an industrial designer and the creative director of the newly formed Richard Meier Light. “She and Hervé”—Descottes, founder of lighting consultancy L’Observatoire International and the third member of the partnership—“have been working on these for a long time,” Richard continues, “And they’re phenomenal.”
With their white hue, curvaceous forms, and interplay of light and shadow, the eight offerings—a mixture of LED pendants, sconces, and floor lamps—share the hallmarks of Richard’s architecture. And rightfully so: Ana says the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, a modernist masterpiece Richard completed in 1995, inspired two pieces in the collection, while houses on Fire Island, New York, a seaside community where Richard has built numerous private residences, sparked others.
The challenge, she explains, was distilling moments of these structures into simple forms that didn’t compromising the originals’ “sense of grandeur.” “We achieved this with the choice of material,” she says, with options including Glacier White Corian and hand-blown glass. Pieces also have multiple light sources, adding depth to their forms.
The fixtures’ color temperatures range from a warm 2200K to a cool 3500K; some are tunable and dimmable. In addition, the company is also developing control systems suited for various applications—including residential, hospitality, and large commercial use—to allow more flexibility with and continuity of the created light.
Bespoke glassmaker WonderGlass is producing some of the fixtures, while the rest are being manufactured in California and Brooklyn, New York. Richard’s last effort to develop lighting was in 1988, when he produced a line of architectural fixtures for the Bronx, New York-based Baldinger.
“When I work with Ana and Richard, we start with the kind of atmosphere we’d like to feel and see,” says Descottes of the collaboration, “and we shape the light fixture from there. We don’t start from the object itself. It’s a different process than with most designers.”