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Porta Romana Timeline

Introduction

Porta Romana began life in 1988 in a tiny London workshop, from the beginning it was our ambition to create inspiring pieces that would be loved. Today Porta Romana is a leading global brand, and a critical ingredient destined for the world’s most beautiful interiors.

This timeline explores the evolving style and design language of
Porta Romana.

Pre-1999

Porta Romana products pre-1999

Pre-1999

1995 - Bamboo Lamp

The Bamboo Lamp launched.

We welcome back the Bamboo Lamp, re-vived in celebration of our first three decades. The delicate detailed base of the Bamboo Lamp is transformed with two contrasting finishes, the first an exact replica of our original Bamboo Lamp paint finish and the second a velvety Khaki flock.

2001

Manhattan Lamp

The Manhattan Lamp is one of our most iconic and recognised pieces. It has been at the forefront of our collection for over 12 years and we dream of it becoming a Design Classic.

2002

Giacometti Bed End Bench and Console

The Giacometti bed end bench bears the hall-mark hammered detailing of the Giacometti family. It can be decorated in any number of our in-house finishes, and you have the option to upholster it in your own fabric.

2003

Man & Woman

An iconic Porta Romana piece, reminiscent of a Giacometti sculpture.

2003

Waterfall Lamp

The Waterfall is another bravura piece born out of our partnership with Master Metal Worker Francis Russell. The carefully rippled sheet sets up fabulous reflections of it surroundings and is a constant source of fascination.

2006

Perfume Bottle Lamp

The Perfume Bottle Lamp was our first lamp to have a co-ordinated coloured shade with twisted silk flex that was specially dyed to correspond. Reminiscent of the atomiser on a 50’s perfume bottle it offers a fabulous splash of colour as a bedside lamp.

2007

Duck Feet Lamp

This is surely our most iconic piece. It was inspired by a visit to a surrealist exhibition, and we love it, especially in its feathered shade.

2007

Blob Lamp

The Blob Lamp may not sound too inspiring but this wonderfully scaled piece is a tour de force of glass blowing. Hand blown by Master Glass Blowers from Bohemia it is at the absolute limit of what can be achieved by this process. The result is a lamp with subtle impact, timeless style and magnificent craftsmanship.

2007

Thread Lamp

Based on the same body shape as the Blob Lamp, the Thread Lamp has a softer feel derived from the delicate glass threading wrapped around the entire surface of the piece. The body of the lamp is made in a variety of stunning colours, the threading is always in clear glass.

2008

Scallop Shell Wall Light

It is the over-scaled proportions of the Scallop Shell Wall Light that make it so special. Never mind that at first glance it may look bigger than the space where it’s required, it’s all about playing with the scale and enjoying the subtlety of its impact.

2008

Miro Ceiling Light

Striking, dramatic, heavy and bold, the Miro Chandelier produces a soft diffused light from its internal shade and adds a subtle beauty to its surroundings.

2009

Quickship

Our quickship range launched.

Our quickship is a service where if requested, this product will be dispatched from our uk head office within 72 hours of order confirmation and receipt of payment.

2009

Pendolino Wall Light

Hanging like a necklace from beneath a softly curved lampshade the Pendolino Wall Light has more in common with delicate jewellery than heavy forged iron work.

2009

Lava Lamp

These extraordinary and astonishing pieces of mouth blown glass would thwart most glass studios’ endeavours. Each one weighs approximately 8 1/2kg and yet is carried on the end of a (glass blowing tube) for the 2 hours of the team’s blowing time that each piece requires. The result is a fabulously deep pool of rippled glass through which the centre of the piece, either coloured or clear, can be viewed. A tour de force creating a stunningly beautiful object.

2010

Caledonia

Resonating with the colours of the Scottish Highlands, slices of peat and the coal coloured depths of the Loch; bracken, gorse and heather overgrown with rust dried ferns; velvet green moss and lichen covered rocks; shiny riverbed pebbles against a storm layered sky. A gold Giraffe has no business in this place.

2010

Giraffe Lamp

A charming addition to the Porta Romana Ark, this traditionally modelled Giraffe with it’s tripod of elegantly stretched limbs is a delightful piece of long-legged whimsicality. Cast in Solid Brass, each piece is individually finished in the Porta Romana workshop and bears its stamp.

2010

Pear Lamp

An over-scaled piece of whimsy, this beautiful hand-blown piece comes in two colours, Charcoal and Assam. The large cast leaf, the uniquely Porta Romana detail that makes this lamp so special.

2011

Evolution

Sometimes given by nature, sometimes taken from art, always blended in the familiar array of materials.

2011

Showroom Expansion

We expanded our Design Chelsea Harbour Showroom.

2011

Cologne Lamp

The Cologne Lamp has it’s origins in a greatly over-scaled promotional Cologne bottle produced in the 1960’s. Playing with the low weight and colour of the original we have produced a solid and extravagant piece, topped with an exquisite stopper.

2012

Nomad

Timeless, universal, enduring and simple, Nomad is an offering of noble materials. Wood, clay, metal and glass – refined, worked, patterned and plain.

2012

Dumpling Lamp

This adorable lamp is blown and comes in a range of jewel-box colours. Its small scale makes it perfect for use as a bedside lamp and it looks delightful as a mis-matched pair. We are showing them with a selection of vibrant shades. You can dress them more casually in one of our linens, or have even more fun using contrasting coloured silk linings.

2013

Photon

Constantly in motion; in collision and flow. A mass of energy looping and tracing its path around the universe. Photon, the quantum of light. Science makes patterns of these apparently random movements. Waves, particles, curves and spheres. Elements combined to create the Photon collection of lighting and furniture.

2013

Gareth Devonald Smith

For this collection we welcomed back renowned artist Gareth Devonald Smith whose strong and identifiable style is instantly recognisable.

When embarking on a new design, Gareth’s creative process begins with experimentation – shapes and doodles combine with his instinctive flair for form and colour. Then begins the collaboration with our artisan makers – working with the finest materials, both natural and man-made, and introducing textures, patinations and paint effects. The culmination is a perfect representation of the artist’s vision and ranges from the brutalist, linear form of the Metropolis Lamp to the considered curves and spheres of the Sputnik Chandelier. Each piece perfectly captures the essence of Photon.

2013

Luca Chandelier

An impressive and spectacular construction of hundreds of individually hand textured, patinated and carefully assembled Brass platelets, the Luca Chandelier is an international space station of luxury. Divided into hundreds of segments, light sparkles off different planes creating a golden glow with wonderful shadows. Each Luca Chandelier will be hand made to order

2014

Enchanted Forest

As if under a spell, the trees that come out of the ground, do so as twisted chairs. Parts of trunks and their branches form themselves into magical tables. Mushrooms from the Forest floor dance around mirrors. Water from the stream pours and hardens into glass – sometimes spikey and sometimes fixed with ripples, as though it were still flowing. Enchanted Forest is a fairy tale Fantasia set in a mythical, magical woodland.

2014

Tord Boontje

Aptly enough, it was a chance meeting in a garden that began Porta Romana’s collaboration with the wonderful Tord Boontje. His exquisite interpretations of natural motifs; creeping ivy, fluid branches and textured bark provided the perfect centrepieces for the Enchanted Forest collection. Tord remarks that the forest concept is a ‘familiar landscape’ to us all, somewhere we can connect with and a place to let our imaginations run wild. So fallen trees and sunlight now become a pair of side tables – a meeting place for woodland creatures perhaps. Sprawling ivy is tamed and twisted around a framework, projecting enchanting shadows of leaves and tendrils on to the nearest surface. And chairs that appear to be growing straight from tree roots delicately appear on the forest floor – whimsically beautiful.

2014

Spring Shoot: Urban Jungle

Our 2014 Spring shoot: Urban Jungle

2015

Elemental

Natural architecture combined with patterns and structures borrowed from Nature are at the heart of the elemental collection. The perfect hexagons of a honeycomb; molten lava; flowing water; burnt wood and precious stones.

A spider’s web, an insect’s cocoon, a crystal and the cool clear blues of air and water meet the hot rust tones of earth and fire.

2015

Icons

Our icons. The pieces that define Porta Romana

2016

Cosmos

A harmonious system.

Mankind’s wonder of the universe is eternal.

The moon’s cratered textures of milky white and it’s ever constant metamorphosis from crescent to full, explored here in celestial bodies of glass that glow and blistered rounds of forged metal that radiate a soft luminosity. The story of our world is woven into glistening stars and their patterns; part science, part mythology, but always magical.

And with lightness, comes darkness.

2017

Stillness

In the story of Stillness, light is juxtaposed with dark, colour is calm and muted, and gold threads dance among textures of stone, ceramic and glass.

Brutalist, architectural silhouettes sit alongside organic forms in silent unity.

Gauzy cotton linens, pretty block printed gathers and sumptuous velvet lampshades combine to create a cocooning atmosphere, diffusing light softly over everything it touches.

Beautiful equilibrium is achieved with hushed tones and serene quietness.

And all that exists is Stillness.

2018

Celebrating 30 years

2018 promises to be an auspicious year for Porta Romana
as we celebrate our 30th Birthday.

To mark our three decade history, we have embarked on cultural collaborations with two quintessentially British Institutions. The first is a donation to the Royal Academy, who will celebrate their 250th Anniversary next year, we feel honoured a Porta Romana chandelier will be enjoyed by visitors for years to come. The second is a partnership with Grange Park Opera, a new woodland opera house, in the grounds of West Horsley Place, close by to our Head Quarters in Surrey. Our Beatrice Wall Lights fill the auditorium, providing a beautiful glow to this magical and enchanting space.

Staying true to our ambition, to constantly evolve we recognise converting to and accelerating the use of LED light bulbs in our 30th year will have the greatest positive impact on the environment. 

With the small family run charity SOS Africa, we have pledged to raise £30,000 to build an Education Centre in South Africa. If you would like to donate, or follow our journey as we embark on a year of fundraising, please click here to visit our fundraising page.

In 2018 we will also expand our global presence, showing for the first time at Salone del Mobile Milano, where we will unveil our SS/18 Collection.

To celebrate this esteemed anniversary we commissioned, Artist Chris Gilvan-Cartwright aka The Baron Gilvan to create our 30th anniversary branding. Look out for his raw, playful and fresh images.

We look forward to revealing more details as each of these initiatives develop, and most importantly we would like to thank you for your continuous loyalty, we are excited for you to join us in the next chapter.

2018

Chronicle

Chronicle embraces the bold spirit of Porta Romana in a collection that defines timeless elegance, fusing heritage pieces with original and unique designs.

Eclectic and imaginative, the collection re-invents distinctive Porta Romana silhouettes, injecting a rich intensity of colour, whilst channelling a retro revival, in a medley of pieces inspired by the 60’s and 70’s.

Daring and unexpected finishes sit bedside, familiar, subtle textures, whilst vivid hues create an unexpected union with a more muted palette.

The unmistakable influence of nature is detected with decorative elements and organic forms.