bernhard kammel’s contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces

bernhard kammel’s contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces

bernhard kammeL’s contemporary chandelier designs


The REAKTOR, a transdisciplinary arts institution based in Vienna, opened in 2018 on the premises of the former Grand Etablissement Gschwandner. For the renovation and contemporary refitting of the Austrian building, Bernhard Kammel, the Director of the institution, designed the new interior as a form of dialogue between the significant temporality of the structure and its timeless additions. One of the most striking new features are Kammel’s bespoke, contemporary REAKTOR Chandeliers. The minimal tubes juxtapose their historical context, and illuminate the spaces in all directions with their cool lighting. Having recently sparked an interest, in 2021 a similar design iteration was installed in Manchester’s historical Lymm Hall.

bernhard kammel’s contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces
Lymm Hall Chandelier

all images courtesy of REAKTOR



radial lighting illuminates vienna arts institution


Bernhard Kammel designed the interior of the new institution with a unifying feeling for the building’s historical qualities and its future. Not just an exhibition space or concert stage, the arts institution is also primarily a workshop for concepts and productions implemented in collaboration with artists of various disciplines. This core characteristic approach is reflected not only in the programme, but also in REAKTOR’s interior design details.


The Austrian writer-director’s distinctive chandeliers are an example of timeless design solutions. The fixtures, consisting of dark steel tubes and LED bars that cover the basic structure, are inspired by the clear lines of mid-century design and the raw elegance of the REAKTOR building. The great hall features a hanging chandelier with narrow LED bars encircling a rounded steel frame, illuminating the historical, ornamental architectural features of the spaces. In the cinema, a flat, radial chandelier emits light throughout the weathered space without obstructing the newly installed screen projections. Throughout the spaces, the old and the new blend in the mirroring reflections of the water glass flooring.

bernhard kammel’s contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces
REAKTOR Chandelier in the great hall



yellow accents complement gilded ornamentation in manchester’s lymm hall


Following the high interest in the Viennese REAKTOR chandeliers, the original design has more recently been further iterated to be installed at Lymm Hall in Manchester. Given the somewhat smaller dimensions and context of a living space, the design details and materials of the original design are refined here. The illuminated tubes seamlessly emit light in all directions and can be continuously dimmed, while the yellow cables converging in the central tube provide a striking colourful accent and complement the gilded ornamentation embellishing the ceiling. 

bernhard kammel’s contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces
REAKTOR Chandelier in the cinema

bernhard kammel’s contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces
details of the minimal, radial design

contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces
REAKTOR library


the chandelier in the great hall illuminates historical architectural features

contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces
the Lymme Hall Chandelier has been refined for its specific context

contemporary chandeliers illuminate historical spaces
yellow cables provide a striking accent



project info:



name: REAKTOR Chandelier & Lymm Hall Chandelier
designer: Bernhard Kammel

metalworking: Muharrem Uslu Schlosserei

illuminants: Volto



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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