Swarovski Crystal Palace


Commissioned by Swarovski to un-design the traditional chandelier, Gabellini Sheppard Associates used the company's signature crystal to create a navigable spatial environment. Hover represents the imagined interior of a Fresnel lighthouse lens. It explores the concepts of interiority, perception and movement in contradistinction to the idea of chandelier as static object. It beckons mysteriously, offering a sensory experience that changes with each viewer's movements within it. The piece was debuted as part of the Crystal Palace exhibition at Miami Art Basel, December 2005; and exhibited a second time at the 2006 Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy.

Hover’s 9000 crystals are strung by hand along 1200 strands emerging from a mirror disc suspended 13 ft. (420 cm) above floor level. Viewers enter the shimmering optical vault by lying back upon a rolling elliptical disc—developed in collaboration with B&B Italia—and coasting atop a large round mirror plate. Theatrically lit from two sides and an off-center source above, the ever-changing Hover environment revisits the phenomenon known as ganzfeld, a uniform light and color field known to calm brain activity. In a playful reversal of means, it excites the senses even while presenting them with an all-immersing spectacle. The result is a feeling of seeing from within. 

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Swarovski Crystal Palace, Varies