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Friday, June 20, 2008

Swarovski Veil, Wattens, Austria

German architects design a swish of stainless steel elegance for Swarovski
This sophisticated and fantastic veil has just been completed for the Swarovski works in Wattens, Austria. Upon entering Swarovskistrasse in Wattens, one gains access to a very special world. After all, visitors treat the factory gate as a threshold to a secret, to the origin of the crystal myth per se. With this in mind, Markus Langes-Swarovski and the site office team initiated a competition which was won by the architectural office d e signstudio regina dahmen-ingenhoven.

The veil embraces the works grounds so that the entire entrance area becomes a “landmark”, a synthesis of the arts. It not only veils, but also functions as a gate. The semi-transparent material does not disclose the Swarovski secret. Instead, it allows the onlooker to surmise it.

Even the opposite side of the street is incorporated in the shape of a grove lined with silver limes. This creates a fluid transition to the public space. Veil, landscaping, illumination and the design of the space merge to become a breathtaking backdrop. The veil is made of a corrosion- and weather-resistant stainless steel mesh. It gives rise to a varied play of light and embodies a never-before seen materialness, held in place by a 10-meter high steel stringer. A group of illuminated pads creates a seating arrangement and doubles as the boundary to what lies beyond.

During the day, rays of sun and traveling clouds revel in this space, triggering a constant change. When night falls, a spectacle takes place that lives in harmony with the hues of the sky. This setting forms the groundwork for a permanent and enchanting transformation.

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