Swarovski Crystal first announced that it had chosen Daniel Libeskind to overhaul the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree star back in May, and the massive ornament was swung into place early this morning. Libeskind, no stranger to projects with jutting angles, designed a spherical crystal bonanza, radically updating the original, two-dimensional Swarovski star (which hadn’t seen a design change since its original unveiling in 2004). While the previous star was large—nine-and-a-half feet in diameter by one-and-a-half feet deep and decked out in 25,000 crystals—Libeskind's is even bigger. The new star is a radiant ball made up of 70 triangular spikes, completely covered in three million Swarovski crystals, and measures nine feet and four inches in diameter. Each spike is attached to its own light, and the electrical component forms the core of the star. When fully lit up each spike is meant to glow from within, with the light ultimately refracted by the topper’s crystal facade. All told, Libeskind’s star weighs 900 pounds, easily dwarfing the previous 550-pound version. Libeskind met with Nadja Swarovski, a member of the Swarovski executive board, in Rockefeller Plaza to watch the star-raising ceremony this morning. “The new Swarovski Star for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is inspired by the beauty of starlight,” said Libeskind, “something that radiates meaning and mystery into the world. The Star is a symbol that represents our greatest ambitions for hope, unity, and peace. I am tremendously honored to collaborate with Swarovski on the Star, and with the entire design team, to bring cutting-edge innovation and design to crystal technology.” The Star Boutique, a 200-square-foot Swarovski popup also designed by Libeskind, will open later this month in Rockefeller Plaza. The interior and branding will all reference the crystalline form of the star itself, and a life-size replica of the Rockefeller Center Star will be on display outside for guests to examine close-up. This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place on November 28.
Posts tagged with "Christmas":
Competing for a place in holiday history—and a ten-week paid internship at the Oslo office of Snøhetta—entrants from fifty-nine countries submitted 243 proposals for a new logistics center for a very singular client: iconic global trading magnate, Santa Claus. The "Unbelievable Challenge" competition was organized by Finnish firm Ruukii Construction, the City of Oulu (Finland), Helsinki Design Week, and Snøhetta. Designs were evaluated not only for aesthetics, but for energy efficiency, sustainability, and suitability for the harsh climate conditions of the site, the Perävainio district of Oulu. The jurors were unanimous in their praise for the entries, and singled out several finalists for special mention. Of the winning project, titled Nothing is Impossible by Alexandru Oprita and Laurentiu Constantin of Romania (above), the panel stated, "The strength of this proposal is being able to exhibit an idea of surprise and magical character within the building itself. The magic happens at nighttime on the building's facade and there's a link to the investor—Mr. Santa Claus. It is feasible and innovative but not futuristic. It is also well thought through, from land use all the way to detailing." The five short-listed finalists (surely also on Santa's nice list)—whose projects, we notice, feature parking lots and loading docks instead of reindeer stables (below)—received that ever-reliable Christmas fallback gift: cash.
A Christmas tree ornament designed by Zaha Hadid currently on display in London restaurant aqua shard will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the year. The object hangs amongst 19 other ornaments designed by the "celebrity friends" of Matthew Williamson, a British fashion designer responsible for curating the tree. The proceeds generated by the subsequent sale of the items will go towards British charity Kids Company. The object replicates the futuristic aesthetic of Hadid's buildings on a micro-scale. According to the listing, it was "manufactured using rapid prototyping technology and materials" which would presumably make it unique amongst the assortment of more recognizable Christmas forms also included in the auction. This is not the first time Hadid has contributed a design to a fundraising effort of this type. Last month a Hadid-designed doll house garnered $22,000 for UK organization KIDS. No word yet on whether Hadid will design a separate ornament for a charitable cause responding to the slave labor and potential loss of life that may occur over the course of the construction of her stadium project for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Bids for the ornament will be accepted on ebay until December 31st. At the time of writing only the price of British photographer Rankin's Louboutinesque design tops that of the Hadid creation.
A modern interpretation of a Christmas tree designed by French firm 1024 Architecture lighting Grand Place, the main public square in Brussels, Belgium has some locals seeing stars. Standing 82 feet tall, ABIES-Electronicus, as the modern tree installation is named, is billed as an eco-friendly equivalent of chopping down a living tree, but some politicians in the city say it represents a "war on Christmas" as the symbols of the holiday are abstracted away from tradition. The mayor dismissed the charges, noting this year's holiday theme was about light, and noting that a nativity scene is set up nearby. Built using readily accessible scaffolding and covered in fabric, ABIES-Electronicus can be ascended for an aerial view of the square and features video projections and changing light displays as well as a sound scheme. The modern design is also intended to contrast with the ornate historic architecture of the square. The architects told the French publication Libération (as translated by Google), "It is made of standard components that can easily be found nearby... And contrary to what has been said, it is cheap compared to the price of abnormal loads, crane and staff mobilized by these giant firs. And it is more fun!" The tree previously made an appearance in the town of Guebwiller, France, where the photos below and video were taken. [Via ArtInfo.]