In our post last week about Venetian glass triedri and and quadriedri, we used the term “poliedri” as a generic term to cover them both (and other similar shapes). A poliedro — polyhedron, or πολύεδρον — is a three-dimensional solid that has a nonspecific number of flat faces and straight edges. The dodecahedron that we looked at in the post about Adolf Loos’s Knize lantern is a polyhedron.
However, a timely post in the online magazine Murano Glass (to which you should subscribe if you are at all interested in Murano glass or Venice more generally), called Not Only Murano Wine Glasses!, reminds us that Poliedri, with a capital P, has a very specific meaning.
It is used to refer to chandeliers and other lights made by Venini in the ’50s and ’60s out of a specific hollow glass shape. Here is a close-up picture of some…
…and here’s a diagram:
The two photos above show that they can come in wide variety of colours (this is Venini, after all!), of varying intensity and uniformity. Best of all, though, they can (to a greater extent even than triedri and poliedri) be assembled into the widest range of possible shapes.
The image at the head of this post is of a chandelier, Ø90cm, designed for Venini by Paolo Scarpa. Here’s something much bigger! It was designed by Carlo Scarpa for the Veneto region pavilion at the Expo Italia Fair in Turin in 1961:
And this is even bigger still — an arrangement of Poliedri for the Hotel Meridien Athens, making good use of colour to emulate clouds — that could go on for ever (it is actually about 330 sq m):
But you can use the Poliedri to make smaller things. A wall light, for example:
or perhaps an arrangement like this:
There are no Poliedri items in Venini’s current catalogue of ArtLight. However, their contract division will create something fabulous — and site-specific — for you. The arrangement above was done in 2007 for the Hotel Gallia in Milano Marittima (Ravenna).
For inspiration, for a testament to what they can do — and for great pictures of Murano Glass lights! — you can download their Contract book here.