Balise Sammode : a light tube by DCW Editions
This year, together with the Sammode company, DCW. Editions opens an innovatory and contemporary window by publishing the unknown collection of domestic lighting: Balise Sammode which originates from the industrial sector and is inspired in total transparency and full tube by the architect Dominique Perrault and his artistic director and associated designer Gaëlle Lauriot‐Prévost.
A lighting dimension up to now unpublished, totally original, unbreakable, uncategorised, demonstrative and solid, Balise is a daring collection which consists of seven families of strong models, available in several versions of length, diameters, colours and light sources.
Proposed in high‐tech glass or in co‐ex (coextruded polycarbonate methacrylate) with fastening clamps in stainless steel, in the shape of suspensions, ramps, accessories and portable lamps, Balise gives a light which is produced by a fluorescent lamp or by LEDs, filtered, softened, directed, orientated by simple positioning either fixed or removable of a shaped filter‐mesh or by a reflector, the material itself of which gives the colour.
Stainless steel for silver, anodised aluminium for copper and gilded. Referred to, for some, masterful architectural creations as the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, the Balise are top of the range lighting devices of superior quality, totally produced and assembled in France.
[divider]The origins [/divider]
Paris, Châtillon‐sur‐Saône, 1967. The Company Sammode, in business since 1927 and producing modern, powerful and industrial lighting solutions, lodges a patent for a cylindrical, waterproof, ultra‐resistant lighting system, capable of withstanding the worst conditions which can occur in petrochemical plants, on oil rigs and aboard super‐tankers.
Marketed since 1967, this tube is produced in all sizes, lengths and diameters alike, illuminating factories, port areas, tertiary sites, urban arrangements, railway and underground stations, parking areas.
The French architect Dominique Perrault and Gaëlle Lauriot‐Prévost modified these tubes with a mesh for the French National Library. A pioneer change, by integrating grids and optical accessories but also with the “ornamental” introduction of a metal mesh with the original use of an industrial filter which was then applied to machinery, ovens, conveyor belts, engines, airbags, as well as to the fuselage of the Airbus to form a Faraday cage, designed for the domestic environment – living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, office, terrace, outdoor – seen in all industrial and illuminated visions in total counter‐current of design practicalities.
[divider]Sammode under direct light [/divider]
Société d’Application des Méthodes Modernes d’Eclairage Electrique : Sammode in brief.
Specializing in technical lighting since it was established in 1927 in Châtillon‐sur‐Saône, this French family‐run firm, which is nowadays managed by Emmanuel Gagnez, great‐grandson of its founder, asserted itself in between the World Wars as a vital reference on the subject of lighting of department stores, homes, factories, stations, sport halls and public ways.
Without omitting the Villa Noailles, which was built in Hyères by Mallet‐Stevens in 1928, and which Sammode will light up anew at the time of its recent renovation. The Art‐Deco period will moreover lead to a large production of domestic lighting, an activity which was extinguished at the end of the 1940s and never revived until to‐day.
Forced by reconstruction, the post‐war years will place the company in the heavy industrial field. On the ground, Sammode illuminates severe, indeed, hostile environments, withstands high and low temperatures, explosive atmospheres, promotes security, optimises signal systems…. Away, far away from the bedside lamp or from the standard lounge lamp: a normal “Sammode” light would be hell for a “normal” man.
Historically established in the Vosges in Eastern France, the factory was totally rebuilt in 1986, enlarged twice since, and has always been proud of a totally 100% French production.
It will be the great site of the National French Library in 1995 which will place
Sammode in a new dimension with the 18,000 lighting units provided in 48
different versions, all of which were structurally modified by Dominique Perrault and Gaëlle Lauriot‐Prévost.
After the National Library, Sammode will take part in many works managed by Dominique Perrault, such as the Velodrome and the Olympic Swimming Pool in Berlin, the spectacular Court of Justice of the European Community in Luxembourg, the stadium of Caja Magica and the Manzanarès bridge of Madrid, the Rouen Stadium and the most recent Grand Theatre of Albi….
Then, Sammode will develop various far‐reaching collaborations, notably with
Jean‐Marie Duthilleul with the majestic stations of the Métro EOLE (Haussmann Saint Lazare and Magenta), with Christian de Portzamparc for the Cité de la Musique at la Villette, with Ibos et Vitart for the Maison des Adolescents of the Cochin Hospital in Paris, and the Médiathèque André Malraux in Strasbourg, and again Dietmar Feichtinger for the Simone de Beauvoir Bridge in Paris.
[divider]DCW.Editions, the human factor of design [/divider]
In the beginning it was a duo of passionate friends, sharing everything or nearly everything since the end of the 1980s. Philippe Cazer and Frédéric Winkler, the founders of the company DCW Editions, multi‐maniac collectors of objects, found wherever it was lawful, if possible, forgotten but having lived at least two lives. So the Lamp Gras designed for use in both factory and office patented in 1922, notably adopted by Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray and Mallet‐Stevens. Production was resumed in 2008 by DCW.Editions, the lamp Gras has been a real world success,which was followed by a second object: the chair Surpil, a tubular and collectable chair of the 1930s around which lurks the ghost of Mallet‐Stevens. In 2013, DCW.Editions proceeded with the official and exclusive introduction of the Mantis lights of the English sculptor and designer Bernard Schottlander, literally of another world.
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