Crystal set: Swarovski broadcasts 120 years of brilliance with a Kristallwelten revamp

Swarovski has revamped its Kristallwelten in the picturesque village of Wattens, Austria on the left and the new vertical tower on the right
To celebrate its 120th anniversary, Swarovski has revamped its Kristallwelten in the picturesque village of Wattens, Austria. The most striking new addition is an intriguing multi-faceted, vertical tower designed by Snøhetta
(Image credit: TBC)

Swarovski (opens in new tab) has unveiled a series of innovative new buildings and exhibits as part of a major expansion of its Kristallwelten (opens in new tab) ('Crystal World') in the picturesque village of Wattens, Austria, where the family-owned brand was established 120 years ago.

The revamped 7.5-hectare complex dedicated to all things crystal reflects the company's close collaboration over the past two decades with leading designers, ranging from John Pawson, Tom Dixon and Zaha Hadid to Naoto Fukasawa, Arik Levy and Ross Lovegrove.

The most striking new addition to the alpine setting is an intriguing multi-faceted, vertical tower with a glass façade designed by Oslo-based architecture firm Snøhetta (opens in new tab). Inside is a series of play zones, with an enormous trampoline and a vertigo-inducing, 14-metre-high climbing net arranged over four floors. Meanwhile, 360-degree windows turn the space into what feels like an air playground, surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Snøhetta was also commissioned to create a new café and restaurant at the entrance to the complex. Their organic, low-slung pod of curvaceous concrete offers views over a contemporary landscaped garden, which features a custom-designed, 1,400-square-metre 'Crystal Cloud' installation by French and Vietnamese artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot. The silvery-grey clouds, "floating" above a mirrored pool, were hand-decorated with over 800,000 crystals in three different sizes.

Nearby, a bulging, mossy hillside sporting the unlikely visage of a smiling giant that doubles as a waterfall marks the entrance to Swarovski's newly expanded museum building. Among the five new creative exhibits is a standout new work by British creative duo Fredrikson Stallard. 'Eden' is a multi-sensory forest of simple brass structures and crystal sculptures symbolising exotic wildlife behind a digital waterfall. South Korean artist Lee Bull also plays with notions of modern utopian landscapes with 'Into Lattice Sun', building an elevated bridge that visitors use to traverse the artist's abstract crystalline world of sculptures. Elsewhere, the Studio Job 'Wunderkammer' playfully embraces pastiche, with a fairground-inspired spatial experience that alludes to the chaos of modern society, using a cabinet of curiosities as a starting point.

Inside the tower, a 14-metre-high climbing net arranged over four floors

Inside the tower is a series of play zones, with an enormous trampoline and a vertigo-inducing, 14-metre-high climbing net arranged over four floors, part of which is pictured here

(Image credit: TBC)

A new café and restaurant at the entrance to the complex

Snøhetta was also commissioned to create a new café and restaurant at the entrance to the complex

(Image credit: TBC)

The curved concrete structure with a view of the landscaped gardens

The curved concrete structure offers views over the Kristallwelten's landscaped gardens

(Image credit: TBC)

'Crystal Cloud' installation by Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot

Forming part of the garden is Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot's 'Crystal Cloud' installation

(Image credit: TBC)

The silvery-grey clouds, "floating" above a mirrored pool

The silvery-grey clouds, "floating" above a mirrored pool, were hand-decorated with over 800,000 crystals in three different sizes

(Image credit: TBC)

The entrance to Swarovski's new expanded museum building

Nearby is a the unlikely visage of a smiling giant, which doubles as as a waterfall, marking the entrance to Swarovski's new expanded museum building

(Image credit: TBC)

'Eden' - Fredrikson Stallard's forest of brass and crystal

Among the five new exhibits is Fredrikson Stallard's forest of brass and crystal, entitled 'Eden'

(Image credit: TBC)

'Into Lattice Sun', Lee Bull's utopian landscape

Lee Bull's utopian landscape, 'Into Lattice Sun'

(Image credit: TBC)

A fairground-inspired spatial experience

The Studio Job Wunderkammer - a fairground-inspired spatial experience

(Image credit: TBC)

The installation explores the chaos of modern society

Inspired by the traditional cabinet of curiosities, the installation explores the chaos of modern society

(Image credit: TBC)

ADDRESS

Kristallweltenstraße 1
6112 Wattens
Austria

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