Metalarte

Luminaire classics of yesterday and tomorrow

Metalarte is a Spanish lighting manufacturer from the Barcelona region and official partner of TAGWERC. The TAGWERC Design STORE introduces selected luminaires from the Metalarte collection. All other metalarte luminaires as well as spare parts are also available from TAGWERC.

From metal workshop to luminaire manufactory

The history of Metalarte begins in the early 1930s and is closely linked to the Riera Clariana family. In 1932 Antonio Riera Clariana founded a metal manufactory. Here he usually does commissioned work from the raw material metal and sometimes also designs handicrafts. With the know-how from ten years of metalworking, the first luminaire was created in 1942, it bears the name ‘No. 1’.

Innovation and the joy of experimentation

From the very beginning, Riera Clariana’s works have been distinguished by his quest for perfection, innovation and the joy of experimentation, which are still reflected in Metalarte’s luminaire designs to this day. Riera Clariana is fascinated by the variety of different materials and their sometimes high-contrast interplay. The Metalarte objects tell of flowing, round shapes, but also of the angular silhouettes of geometry.

Material and Manufacture

‘Alta Costura’, ‘Dojo’, ‘Inout’, ‘Josephine’ and ‘Shoelaces’ are families of Metalarte luminaires, who undoubtedly make the uniqueness of material and manufacture tangible and are represented in the TAGWERC Design STORE. Not to mention the ‘Walden` lighting collection, design classics par excellence, which go back to the design of the Danish designer George W. Hansen.

Fatal encounter

Fate brings Hansen and Riera Clariana, who is on a tour of the United States in the 1950s, together in Hansen’s adopted homeland. The product designer is looking for a manufacturer to produce his now legendary luminaires with the characteristic swing arm. After a visit to Barcelona, Hansen is impressed by Riera Clariana’s manufacturing maxim. The beginning of decades of cooperation.

Collaboration with designers

After moving to a factory building in Sant Joan Despé in the early 1960s, the collaboration with various designers was massively boosted until the 1970s. Metalarte produces Philippe Starck’s first lamp and the first halogen lamp in the company’s history: the table lamp ‘Modelo Calder’ by Enric Franch from 1974. The latter is included in the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The list of designers, some of whose designs are still made by Metalarte, is long. In addition to Hansen and Franck, the designers are André Ricard, Josep Llusc, Estudi Blanc, Josep Aregall, Oscar and Sergi Devesa, Antoni Arola , Lievore Altherr Molina, Ricard Ferrer, Héctor Serrano, Jordi Llopis, Ana Mir, Emili Padrés, Otto Canalda and Ramén Ebeda.

Manufacture and Metalab

The children of the company founder, Antonio Junior and Carlos, join the company and continue the company’s fortunes. After the turn of the century, Metalarte moves again, to the Paseo de la Ribera, in Canovelles, about 35 kilometers north of Barcelona. In addition to exhibition, production, warehouse and shipping, a ‘Metalab’, a development laboratory for future-oriented lighting solutions, is built here.

Catalan pioneering spirit

Metalarte has remained true to the Barcelona region to this day and is still run here in the name of the family business of the past. The values and the maxim of the company founder have remained and have been adapted to new materials and technologies – here tradition meets modernity. Metalarte is represented with some selected luminaire classics from yesterday and tomorrow in the TAGWERC Design STORE. As the official sales partner of Metalarte, TAGWERC provides all original designs as well as original spare parts for luminaires from the Metalarte collection.

Text by Bianca KILLMANN
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Design lamps and spare parts by Metalarte.