Crystal Cloud: 2015 BoY Winner for Installation
When Swarovski turned 100, back in 1995, it gave its hometown in the Tyrol a centennial present in the form of a park called Swarovski Kristallwelten. For the 120th anniversary, the crystal manufacturer has again celebrated in a big way: by more than doubling the park’s size, to 18 ½ acres, and commissioning landscape artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot for a reinvention, with an installation at the center covering 15,000 square feet. Crystal Cloud, a nebulous form of the type that Cao and Perrot have come to be known for, draws specific inspiration from the park’s copses of white-birch trees and, of course, Swarovski’s trademark sparkle. Providing support for the cloud, tall stainless-steel masts stand in and around a black reflecting pool. At their tops, secured by steel cable, are 3,000 loose shapes in stainless mesh. Crystals, 800,000 of them, hang from the mesh, thanks to stainless attachments that act something like a sophisticated paper clip. “The installation appears to double as it’s reflected in the pool,” Cao points out. And that’s only part of the magic. Backdropped by the Alps, the dreamy appearance changes from day to night and summer to winter.