"By hiding ventilation in lighting, we create calm on the ceiling".
Found & Baker sits down with Thibault Renson, founder of prado.
Creating peace indoors in an otherwise busy, hurried world. That is the mission of Thibault Renson and his company prado. Minimalist interiors are more prevalent than ever, and ceilings are often a tricky issue. A ceiling is equipped with many different functional techniques. Just think of ventilation, which is ubiquitous these days. With an innovative and aesthetic solution that conceals ventilation in architectural lighting, prado is bringing tranquillity back to the ceiling. And the ambition is to evolve into a technology company with smart combinations for architect and installer.
How did prado originate?
"The passion for design has been around for a long time, but the idea of incorporating ventilation into lighting came later," explains Thibault Renson. "For example, during a private renovation project, we came across difficulties and defects for which there were no solutions at the time. The gap in the market also emerged during discussions with architects. That's how the ball got rolling." Some two years of research and development later, prado is making its entry into the market with integrated ventilation in designer lighting fixtures. Thanks to the thorough knowledge of ventilation built up over generations within the family, combined with experienced engineers from the lighting industry.
prado did not miss its start.
Renson: "That's right. From the beginning, we have had several collaborations with leading Belgian architects such as Marc Merckx and Nathalie Deboel. We can also add a few foreign projects to our list of achievements. We really want to offer what architects are currently missing." That pragmatic approach appears to be working. In addition to unique projects at home and abroad, prado has been rewarded with several international awards. "We certainly got off to a good start. Our team has doubled in the past few months and we recently acquired a majority in Rond. While prado wants to create peace on the ceiling, Rond does the same on the wall with design sockets and switches. A very complementary range therefore."
What characterises the prado range?
"As mentioned before, we started from a unique combination of light and ventilation. This combination typifies us, but it is not necessary. After all, our range includes a whole series of luminaires without built-in ventilation. Since prado lighting itself meets high standards, our luminaires are also suitable for projects that do not require ventilation. We are therefore strongly committed to light quality, but our primary focus remains on developing solutions for the architect. With our modular system, easy installation and controllable ventilation, we also respond to the needs of the installer."
What does the future hold for Prado?
"We will continue to keep our finger on the pulse," says Thibault Renson. "Because one thing is certain: we still see many opportunities on the ceiling. That much is clear from the projects we have completed with renowned architects. With this in mind, we have developed a new collection with the same solutions, the same luminosity, but in a smaller format. This is how we meet the demand for luminaires that are even less conspicuous. Exclusive brass finishes have also recently become available for the luminaires. We are constantly evolving in terms of design, functionality and technology. Our ambition is to evolve as a technology company. The best is yet to come."