Raak Suomi Pendant Lamps
Materials: Hand blown crystal glass. Two glass parts. One part in white opal glass and one part in amber/yellow coloured clear glass. Some metal parts. White Bakelite canopy. Bakelite sockets.
Cord Length: 80 cm / 31.49’’
Height: 28 cm / 11.02”
Width: ∅ 17 cm / 6.69”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but preferably a white, opaque or frosted one. Clear bulbs create stripes on the glass and therefor also on the walls.
Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985).
Manufacturer: Raak Lichtarchitectuur, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Other versions: These Raak Suomi pendant lamps exists in amber, blue-green and smoked grey glass. Other models were also produced. Lamps such as the B-1137, as you can see on the left or in the Raak catalogue here on Vintageinfo.
The glass parts of these lamps were made by the famous glass company iittala from Finland.
The Dutch company Raak Lichtarchitectuur (Light architecture) was founded in 1954 by Carel O. Lockhorn (18 June 1923 – 6 October 2004), a previous employee of Philips Lighting Eindhoven. Raak, which means “to hit” in Dutch, implies design which precisely “hits the nail on the head”.
Raak is best known for their organic modern design of the 1960s and 1970s which combined glass & metals for a sophisticated futuristic style.
The light company collaborated with several international designers and architects, including Bertrand Balas, Evert Jelle Jelles, Frank Ligtelijn. Ger Vos, Jan Jasper Fayer, Li Helo, Maija-Liisa Komulainen. Nan Platvoet, Nanny Still-Mackinney, Nico Kooi. Sergio Asti, Tapio Wirkala, Willem van Oyen and many others.
Raak also collaborated with other companies. They worked with the German Peill + Putzler for the Raak Globe lamps. Peill + Putzler produced the glass. They also sold lamps made by Peill + Putzler, such as a pendant lamp designed by Aloys Ferdinand Gangkofner. For the Raak Discus the glass was made by Bega, also a German company. For the Night Club and Stalactites lamps a cooperation with the Belgian Val Saint Lambert was undertaken in the late 1950s. Raak also sold some lamps that were produced by Staff Leuchten (Staff & Schwarz Leuchtenwerke GMBH) from Germany. iittala from Finland produced the glass for the lamps that were designed by Tapio Wirkkala. Raak collaborated with many other producers of lighting.
Carel Lockhorn sold the company in 1974 to ITT but remained a director until 1977. In 1980 Raak merged with BIS Lighting from Aalsmeer, also in The Netherlands and was renamed into BisRaak. In 1986 the Raak company became independent again. The company got a business appearance and only the colours white, black and grey were still processed.
In 1999, Raak merged with Artilite B.V. and Indoor B.V. and became CLA: Centrum voor Lichtarchitectuur B.V. in Drachten (Centre for Light Architecture). The Centre for Lighting Architecture was founded by Egbert Keen. The company was declared bankrupt on 19-05-2011.
Born in Hanko, Finland, June 2nd 1915, died in Helsinki, Finland, May 19th 1985.
Tapio Wirkkala designed many items, including the Markka banknotes for Finland. His famous Finlandia vodka bottle, the Ultima Thule set of drinking glasses for Iitala (and many other glasses).
He designed beautiful vases for Venini (Murano, Italy) and many other delightful objects. Mr. Wirkkala received many awards and distinctions for his numerous creations. You can find many items mad by his hand online.