A-N-D places standing chandeliers in 17th-century Milanese villa

Vancouver-based lighting company A-N-D has showcased two collections at Alcova during Milan design week, adapting its chandeliers to be placed on the floor to respect the historic setting.

The lights flanked the walls of a room on the ground floor of Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, a 17th-century villa outside of Milan that is one of two locations for year’s iteration of the Alcova design showcase.

Column lighys in historic setting Andlight
A-N-D has installed a series of pieces at a historic house outside of Milan

The lights were presented alongside a colourful platformed rug by Italian brand CC Tapis and a blue fibreglass couch by Turkish studio Uma Objects.

Altogether, the installation of lights and furniture was designed to contrasts the historical finishes of the space, which has a domed ceiling with a fresco of the Greek myth of Daphne.

Standing chandelier in historic house
The collections shown included the Vale series

A-N-D co-founder Lukas Peet said that the location was a challenge because they could not make any interventions into the walls or ceilings.

“When you’re unable to confidently hang anything, or interact with the walls or the ceiling – that’s a major challenge as a lighting brand that mostly works with pendants,” he told Dezeen.

This led the studio pair to release new editions of two existing light collections – the Vale and Collumn light collections. Conceptualised initially as chandeliers, the lights were taken from their hanging context and set up on the floor in modular configurations.

Vale has curved glass over a thin light strip and utilises an edge-to-edge connection. The studio created large, free-standing sculptural constructions using the light, wrapping them like screens at two sides of the room.

The studio said that the Vale lights were arranged to act almost architecturally, as additional walls in the space.

Andlight at Alcova 2024
The lights were shown alongside pieces from CC Tapis and Uma Objects

The studio’s other pieces were from the Column series, which has thick multi-sided blocks of glass placed on top of each other and was informed by the classical Greek Doric column. Peet said that the lighting was arranged to be like a “forest” so that people visiting had to interact with the lights and walk around them.

“I think it works together,” said A-N-D co-founder Caine Heintzman of the modern furniture in the historic room. “The modularity of the lighting allowed us to tailor the installation to the space.”

Both designers joked that even though they had little idea of the space, the pieces ended up being in conversation with the fresco of Daphne on the ceiling, as she represents plants and the pieces were arranged as if “growing” from the floor.

Dozens of designers set up pieces throughout the manor house and grounds of Villa Bagatti Valsecchi and at Villa Borsani, a secondary Alcova location just a few minutes walk from the first.

ANDLight Alcova
The Column series was set up like a “forest” of light

Alcova co-founder Joseph Grima said that this year’s iteration sees the first residential locations for the showcase.

He told Dezeen that the location, around 40 kilometres from Milan city centre, was chosen to showcase the important design outside of the city – Villa Borsani was the home of Osvaldo Borsani, an important mid-century Milanese architect and designer.

“We wanted to shine a light on the fact that Milan is not just the centre – all of these spaces that we know very well – but it’s also this whole area around it.”

The photography is by A-N-D.

Alcova 2024 is on show from 15-21 April as part of Milan design week. See our Milan design week 2024 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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