How to hang a chandelier from a glass ceiling
Just to mention up front that this is not an instructive post about how to hang a chandelier or pendant lamp! If you are looking to do that, most likely you will need to weigh the chandelier and use a suitably rated chandelier hook and or ceiling anchor. Check Youtube! Speak with a well experienced builder. Or contact us to start your design project!
Whilst working with KTB architects a design problem arose of how to hang a chandelier from a glass ceiling. This bespoke chandelier project was for a boutique luxury hotel in Royal Tunbridge Wells, about an hour outside of London by train. One Warwick Park hotel was designed by KTB Architecture and the full project details can be found here on their website. The chandelier proposed was for an atrium courtyard with a glass skylight roof.
The design idea for the chandelier from KTB Architects was to suspend 8 ‘Moooi Raimond‘ sphere lamps at various heights between the floors of the triple height atrium. Guests entering and leaving their rooms have a spectacular view into this courtyard with hanging spheres that emphasise the height & verticality of the space.
Our role in this project was to figure out the technicalities of how to hang a chandelier of 8 LED spheres from the glass skylight above!
Moooi Raymond Spheres
In addition to being a modern design classic chandelier, the Moooi Raimond light has the advantage of being extremely lightweight. Therefore shipping and delivery is easier, less costly and the Raimond is a breeze to install. Compared with a heavy traditional crystal chandelier, the visual effect is more geometric and the impact is just as impressive.
“This minimal mathematical design made from polished stainless steel strips allows light to easily pass through it. The spheres do not cast heavy shadows or darken a space.
Reminiscent of a dandelion head, the Moooi Raimond is a design that combines geometry with light & lightness.”Roger Cooper, ReORIENT DESIGN
Contact us here to enquire about discounts purchasing moooi Raimond lights.
Designing the ‘Mounting Ring’
Each of the 8 Raimond lights requires an electrical transformer, usually hidden in the ceiling rosette mounts. These rosettes are fixed to the ceiling and support the hanging weight of the chandelier sphere.
The glass skylight has roof beams supporting it, which could be used to mount the chandeliers. However mounting directly to these severely restricts the possible positions of the lights. Furthermore 8 separate mounts would need to be drilled into the steel structure. Finally 8 power cables and exposed rosette transformers would also be required, which are all unsightly.
In conclusion we quickly identified exactly how we did not want to hang a chandelier! However doing this enabled us to find a simple solution which resolved all of these problems. In other words, knowing what you do not want is halfway to knowing what you do want! We came up with the idea of using a large ring attached to a single mounting point on the central roof beam. From this ‘mounting ring’ all 8 sphere lights can be hung:
The mounting ring will also function as a cable tray and house the transformers. Therefore only one exposed power cable is necessary from the beam to connect to the mounting ring and all of the lights.
Weight, balance & ‘Wabi Sabi’
We used 3 sizes of Mooi Raimond light: r43 (43cm radius), r61 and r89. An additional 3 larger sizes are also available: r127, r163, r199, although we didn’t use these. To clarify these sphere weights are proportional to the sizes; the largest r199 (4 meters diameter!) weighs only 12.5kg. To hang a similar sized crystal chandelier might require 5 workers or a small crane to lift it, whereas the Raimond light requires only 1 worker. In addition, construction site risks are reduced, labour costs and installation times are minimised.
Our design considered a totally asymmetrical arrangement of different sized spheres for maximal visual effect. Certainly a well balanced asymmetrical design can look most attractive and are often suggestive of movement.
How to hang a chandelier? Here’s how we did it:
Wabi Sabi (a Japanese design philosophy) often uses asymmetry to express an acceptance of imperfection, transience and the forces of nature. These subtle qualities can make asymmetric designs visually compelling.
In this case of hanging 8 chandeliers from on mounting ring, asymmetry presents the risk of unevenly distributed weight. To clarify, an unbalanced asymmetric design could result in the chandelier unintentionally tilting towards the more heavily weighted side. In other words, the mounting ring acts like a see-saw in all directions. Therefore in order to balance the ring correctly all opposing pairs must be equally weighted (sized). However, we found that we could still vary the heights of the light spheres to create an asymmetrical design in the vertical axis, without unbalancing the mounting ring.
Considering the atrium already had a mirrored wall, we decided to fabricate the mounting ring from mirror polished stainless steel to match the minimalist feeling of the space. This resulted in a very clean minimal appearance of elements with only one visible cable and no visible transformers.
The Halo Effect
The solidity of the ring creates a central ‘halo’ focal point above the atrium void, contrasted with the lightness and delicacy of the Mooi spheres which dissolve below. In conclusion our approach resulted in a minimal and lightweight intervention, which emphasises the verticality and lightness of this space.
We produced a full set of steel detail drawings for the fabricator, showing information for the electrics, sphere weights, cable fixings and material finishes.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to discuss your project, or how we should hang your chandelier, please contact us here!
This article contains sponsored product placements.
Disclaimer – all architectural works in this article were designed by KTB Architecture.
Chandelier detail designs made by Roger Cooper Design, for KTB Architecture.