Lighting Luxury

25. 5. 2020, Shanghai, China

Pearl Drop brings elegance and grace to residential spaces

Pearl Drop’s versatility and graceful appearance makes its one of Preciosa’s most recognizable Signature Designs. A luxury residence in Shanghai requested a personalized Pearl Drop for their staircase. Preciosa in-house designers customized a beautiful pearl swirl of light that can be viewed through the home’s three levels.

Pearl Drop for Private Residence, Shanghai

Preciosa’s retail partner in Shanghai is Tiamantti Living, the city’s premier luxury home furnishings destination. A client came to them looking for a staircase light. He quickly fell in love with Preciosa’s hand-blown opal pearls and the Tiamantti lighting team suggested Pearl Drop. They contacted Maher Akil, who leads Preciosa Lighting in Mainland China, to provide a design for Pearl Drop the client would love.

“The staircase space was very tight and needed something flexible so Pearl Drop’s delicate and highly-customizable design was the ideal solution not only artistically, but technically as well,” Mr. Akil said. “The home’s interior is elegant yet subtle, so naturally the Pearl Drop fits perfectly.”

Pearl Drop for Private Residence, Shanghai

Signature Designs are gaining in popularity in China thanks to their one-of-a-kind nature and options to personalise.

“Pearl Drop is unique because its design is tailored for the customer’s space,” the Tiamantti lighting team said. “It’s a very elegant design, and for Chinese customers, it is extra special because they also consider pearls a symbol of wealth and good taste.”

The Perfection of Pearls

Pearl Drop is created from triplex opal and crystal pearls which are threaded with smaller metal spheres to give it a true necklace feel. For this residence, 175 pearls were implemented in the final design which weighs 100 kilograms. Smaller golden metal spheres are placed between each pearl. This creates a gentle distance and contrast between the pearls, hinting at the tiny knots found on actual pearl necklaces.

Pearl Drop moodboard

“Just like a real pearl necklace, Pearl Drop does not need to bling and shine, its simplicity and sleek elegance speaks volumes,” says Mr. Akil. “The subtle spirals of this vertical Pearl Drop sit perfectly in the space of a curved staircase and the golden accents between the delicate white pearls match stunningly with the antique golden railings in the staircase.”

By the Numbers

175: pearl spheres

7 metres: total height

100 kilograms: total weight

12 weeks: from first sketch to final installation

An Engineering Marvel

Another unique aspect of Pearl Drop is its internal metal frame. This rigid structure means minimal support is needed and the light can be installed in challenging places, like a narrow stairway.

These complex areas can pose a challenge to designers and engineers. How do you create a functioning light that not only retains its beauty but is safe? The Preciosa team had to safely hang a seven metre long and less than one metre wide light, in a restricted space. The light curves and because of this does not have an easily identifiable centre of gravity. The weight had to be taken into consideration as well. Preciosa engineers succeeded in installing not only a sturdy light but one that retains its delicate look by using only two thin but extremely strong safety wires.

Preciosa’s Signature Designs

Signature Designs are authentic, timeless and celebrate design. Each one offers unlimited design possibilities including different scales, compositions, colours, materials and surface finishes, construction principles and illumination methods.

“What makes a Signature Design so strategic is the variations that can be developed,” said Preciosa Creative Director Michael Vasku. “Because of the simplicity of Pearl Drop’s components, the design can be constructed into a variety of shapes. The vertical design used in the stairway of this residence is a captivating example.”

Skilled Craftsmanship

Pearl Drop uses components made from our exclusive triplex opal component. These pearl-like spheres are a speciality of the Preciosa glass works as not many manufacturers are able to handle the delicate material. The components are distinctive in the fact they are beautiful whether lit or not. The spheres are also captivating elements during the day, under natural lighting conditions. The connectors are made from brass which is a traditional material in the lighting industry and is conducive to metallic surface finishes.

Triplex opal is a traditional craftsmanship technique of layering three layers of glass on top of one other. Each sphere has a crystal clear core with an opal white layer. On top of these two layers a third crystal clear layer is overlaid which adds to the rich visual depth.

Flexible Design

Pearl Drop is a self-supporting structure and needs only a few suspension points in the ceiling. This makes it particularly suitable to hang freely in a space, visible from all sides, even from the top. Hanging under skylights is also a possibility as no large fixing plate is needed.

While the concept using opal components aims for a contemporary minimalistic appearance, the use of crystal clear cut spheres creates a more luxurious and sparkling piece. Pearl Drop can be a static, dynamic or interactive installation.

Pearl Drop was designed by Amsterdam-based Studio Tjep; Vasku & Klug; Lukáš Uliarczyk and Marilies Wedl