Kalmar Werkstätten believes that producing great design demands flawless execution. Our company is founded on Austria’s rich craftsmanship tradition and, in collaboration with today's noteworthy designers, we propel it into the future. Imagination, skill, and quality infuse every step of our work.
Indeed, at Kalmar Werkstätten, craftsmanship is not an excuse for gratuitous material selection or ornamentation. Our products are pared to the essence—sleek in geometry and delicate in their proportions. And by creating these forms in soulful, meticulously fabricated materials, we infuse rigorous minimalism with warmth and humanity.
This approach produces a remarkably versatile lighting object. Kalmar Werkstätten’s strong design language may command attention. Our table and floor lamps, pendants, and sconces may also blend in discreetly and effortlessly. While this effect changes according to the interior, in every space our products invite use with beautiful illumination, tactile finishes, and honest construction.
Kalmar Werkstätten is an extension not only of Austrian culture and modernist expression, but also a very personal history: For 130 years Kalmar has been a place of time-honored artisanship and progressive experimentation. Shortly after Julius August Kalmar founded the company in 1881, he presented custom cast-bronze works at Gewerbeausstellung Wien that immediately won acclaim for their forward-looking perspective and meticulous construction. And in Kalmar’s next generation, Julius Theodor Kalmar aligned the company with the groundbreaking Austrian Werkbund movement.
Stripped of ornament and legibly fabricated, Kalmar’s Werkbund-era luminaires feel particularly relevant to 21st-century conditions. In 2009, under the creative direction of Jonathan Browning, we launched Kalmar Werkstätten to identify the most relevant works from the Kalmar archives, to once again share with the world. As co-creative directors, Garth Roberts and Nicolo Taliani subsequently reinterpreted the best Werkbund schemes for today’s residential and commercial interiors.
Today Roberts helms Kalmar Werkstätten singularly, conceiving new designs that make reference to Kalmar’s rich past while anticipating the social and cultural trends that will shape future interiors. He also champions our philosophy of revering materials: Whether common or opulent, every material serves a unique purpose and conveys special emotional meaning. Roberts chooses materials for both function and character, and our master craftsmen handle those selections with intense care.
Based on our ongoing efforts, Kalmar Werkstätten lighting today is as classic as it is contemporary. By stewarding a specific regional legacy of creativity, we are shaping a new legacy for design.