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Fifteen million Swarovski crystals for Jaime Hayon’s Carousel

From the Tyrol to New York, the spectacular installations designed by Libeskind, Koolhaas, Berliner

Jaime Hayon

Swarovski does it again. The long list of projects that the company has developed in collaboration with world-famous architects and designers – that have led to the creation, in recent years, of eye-catching installations that may be considered true works of contemporary art – has grown to add the project for the decoration of the merry-go-round built in the Kristallwelten Garden, the Crystal World inaugurated in 1995 in the Austrian town of Wattens, in the heart of the Tyrol, to commemorate the 100thanniversary of the foundation of Swarovski.

Designed by artist and designer Jaime Hayon, the “Carousel”, which took six months to develop, is «a magical new interactive experience» for Swarovski itself.

The work is embedded with 15 million Swarovski crystals that cover the 12 panels on the ceiling and the 16 panels of the walls. All bathed in the “warm” illumination of the lighting system that creates the atmosphere of a dream, especially at night.

The Spanish designer drew inspiration from folklore and fairytales to create the fantastic characters with extravagant features that decorate the railings and the roof.

Carousel is a magical journey, a journey through a dream. It transforms the classic merry-go-round into a twenty-first century artwork to offer the visitor an enchanted experience

Jaime Hayon

This is Hayon’s second collaboration with Swarovski: in 2017 the artist designed “Sparkle Shady” for the company, a chandelier-candlestick matched with a limited-edition sideboard.

His most recent installations, for the 2018 Christmas season, include three scenographic works at the Rockefeller Center in New York. But literally “shining” above it all was the Swarovski Star, the Christmas star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, decorated with 3 million crystals on 70 points and lit by LEDs. This case is also a second effort: the new Swarovski Star is in fact a reinterpretation of the famous crystal cylinder-tree made in 2004 when Swarovski established a partnership with the co-owner of the Rockefeller Center Tishman Speyer.  

One of their most scenographic installations was certainly the one developed by Fratelli Parisi, the historic company based in the Apulia region in Italy, which also created the majestic and brightly illuminated “Luminarie” portal at the Venice Biennale in 2014, as part of the Monditalia exhibition, one of the three events organized in the spaces of the Arsenale by architect Rem Koolhaas. The portal, 7 meters high by 20 meters wide, was created with 50 kilograms of scintillating crystals to serve as the entrance gate for the visitors to the exhibition. Funded by Swarovski, the work, which cost 40,000 euro, was later moved to the Kristallwelten.

In the garden of the “Gigante” that surrounds the 7.5-hectare structure, visitors may admire not only the new “Carousel”, but many other works and installations resulting from the company’s collaboration with artists and designers. One of the most spectacular is the Crystal Cloud, an installation of “sound” crystals developed by Austrian musician Emil Berliner.


translation by Olga Barmine

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