Abandoned factories are often full of dusty old treasures, much of which are still salvageable. Blom & Blom, a company founded by brothers Kamiel and Martijn Blom, rescues industrial lighting fixtures from shuttered factories and give them a new life. The Bloms have workshops in Amsterdam and Berlin, where they restore and redesign their found lamps, and they resell them for use in restaurants, offices and homes.
Sparked by a passion for “authentic items with a story to tell,” the Blom brothers launched a web store last month where they sell refurbished lamps. Most of the factories they mine for lighting fixtures and lamps date back to the WWII era. The East German factories were taken over by the Soviet Union in the post-war era, but most of the factories were closed when the Berlin Wall came down.
“It all started with exploring abandoned industrial sites just for the fun of it,” explains Kamiel Blom. “When we strolled an old laboratory, or a deserted military complex, we always had a split feeling. On one hand, there was our fascination for the amazing atmosphere of these places, and on the other, our frustration that the industrial treasures they hold would ultimately end up in a dumpster.”
Most of the lamps have a very distinctive East German industrial style. Blom & Blom aims to retain that unique history while also giving each lamp a modern, 21st-century look. “The lighting fixtures are of such extraordinary craftsmanship,” says Kamiel Blom. “They are often made for extreme industrial use, and yet their designs are so pure and sophisticated.” Every lamp comes packed with a ‘passport,’ which tells its unique story.