For the seventh year now, imm has invited an international designer to apply architecture, interior design, lighting and furniture in an installation that simulates a real home. Doshi Levien, Luca Nichetto, Louise Campbell, Neri&Hu, Sebastian Herkner and Todd Bracher preceded Lucie Koldova, all with a supremely individual narrative on contemporary living.

‘Das Haus is an exciting and special platform and I see it as a reward for my work. I play a lot with light, so in my Das Haus, light gets the main role while furniture completes the rooms – not the other way around! Of course, Das Haus is a personal statement project, so I offer my view on living well too.’

‘Our home should be the place where we can recover from the demands and stress of the hectic lives we’re living; we should take the opportunity to rebalance and to recharge ourselves there.’

With this in mind, the young Czech designer has come up with five distinct zones in Das Haus, each with its own light atmosphere: four very personal zones to spend our precious me-time – a zone for relaxing, for spirituality, for dressing, for inspiration – and a zone for sharing (living). And there is also a small balcony, an outdoor space, however small, that is crucial for the designer:

‘Oh yes, even though I am very much a city lover, I find it important to be in touch with nature. In the relaxation zone you can cleanse yourself from daily routine. The dressing zone is one of my personal passions - I follow fashion; it’s such a pleasure to dress up, to express yourself through your outfit. At home, I keep my treasures in a fully equipped dressing zone. The living zone is meant for sharing, for talking with the people you love.’ All the spaces are bathed in light, even the balcony. ‘Light is crucial in our lives, it enhances our wellbeing.’

Curiously, there is no kitchen. Is it a clear personal statement by this busy mum?

‘With my small son, I have to calculate time. And when I think of myself and the people I am surrounded by, we rather express ourselves in design, photography, or any other creative activity, not in cooking. I would say that spending much time in the kitchen is not really trending among the younger generations. What we enjoy is good food in the company of the people we love, but you don’t need a kitchen for that. I also have to admit that I’m not such a great cook, so preparing food actually means a whole lot of stress for me. Besides, I want to make a statement that women don’t necessarily belong in the kitchen.’

Instead of a fully equipped kitchen, Koldova places the oldest and most basic means to cook in the middle of Das Haus: a fire.

‘I love fire as a unifying symbol, just like it was thousands of years ago: people would gather around the fire to cook, to eat, to enjoy each others’ company, to tell stories, to celebrate, to warm up, to feel safe. In my work I use a lot of symbols - that’s also why in the Das Haus relaxation zone you’ll find a huge bath tub: the symbol of pure wellness. In the spiritual zone there is a big round, conceptual sofa. Ideal for meditation and contemplation.’

Koldova shows in Das Haus what she finds essential for living well: love, sharing, privacy, spirituality, intimacy, relaxation, and grooming.

‘In our hectic contemporary world, where everyone is exhausted and where the internet connects us with things we don’t want to be connected with, we need a true home. And this home is an intimate place, where you only allow certain people to enter. The spiritual zone is particularly important. I am very spiritual, and good energy is crucial for living well. It’s actually all that matters.’

Koldova says that Prague is a spiritual place.

‘People here believe in energy, and live connected with the cosmos,’

she enthuses. When asked if this was part of the reason she relocated to her homeland after four years in Paris, her answer is one that intertwines the personal and the professional:

‘Certainly, but this was not the only reason. The creative scene in Prague is booming – there are currently so many talented people from the Czech Republic traveling the world to show their amazing work, pushing the future of our country. Many of them work with glass, which is a very important tradition here. I wanted to become part of that rich tradition, and push it to the next level.’

Koldova calls the years she spent in Paris an amazing experience, even though it was quite a thing for the then 26 year old to prove herself in a city known for its chauvinist and exclusive snobbism.

‘I arrived there at an age when you are usually fragile and very bold at once: full of big dreams and optimism, but not at all knowing how to start a career. In Paris I learned a lot about life. It’s quite a city and I was not at all prepared to be there, culturally. After a while I decided that this was nothing to be confused about, and I just went on. When I established good contacts with Czech brands like Brokis, I closed the Parisian chapter. Of course, I sometimes feel Paris-sick: I miss that special life there. It was such a strong experience, for the good and for the bad, and I have great memories. But since I’ve had my son, I mainly look at the present and the future, not the past. It all makes sense to me – I am a very intuitive person. And I very much work with my intuition, perhaps even more so because I am a woman.’

This intuitive touch is palpable in Das Haus, in the use of lights and in the choices Koldova has made – the installation features the wood-bending production skills of TON in the new Chips lounge chair, and the glassmaking utilised in concept lighting designs for Brokis, both Czech companies, the latter of which Koldova acts as art director. So what does she want us to take home from imm?

‘Oh I want you to enjoy! And to encounter something you didn't expect. I also hope you’ll be triggered to think about yourself and your wellbeing; to engage in a conversation with yourself about what your really need to feel at home - what you want to experience in your house. I want you to be touched by the Das Haus.’

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