16:41Swarovski Luminaire at the Venice Architecture Biennale #Swarovski
Swarovski is proud to announce its creative participation in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, working alongside its Director, Rem Koolhaas, and his practice OMA.
Swarovski will collaborate with Koolhaas to create a dramatic illuminated archway surrounding the entrance to Monditalia, one of three exhibitions that make up the distinguished Dutch architect’s ambitious presentation of this year’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.
Entitled Luminaire, the archway is a majestic structure resembling a grand stage set and measuring 6 metres in height by 20 metres in length. A sparkling facade made up of thousands of coloured light bulbs and Swarovski crystal, it references the grand-scale urban lighting installations that are an integral part of Italian culture, associated with celebrations and religious feasts, even forming a centrepiece in several of Federico Fellini’s films.
The Luminaire leads to the world of Monditalia, Koolhaas’s storytelling of Italy’s history through its relationship to architecture, ancient and modern. “The topics of Monditalia are the current state of Italy, between treasure and crisis, knowledge and controversies, history and politics” says Rem Koolhaas, “perfectly introduced by a special entrance gate which we developed with Swarovski.” At its heart will be a huge reproduction of an historic map, which will run through the Arsenale’s long halls to create a literal procession through the country. The displays will be paired with a programme of theatre, music, film and dance, all drawn from participants in Venice’s other festivals and Biennales.
Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, said: “It has been an honour to collaborate with Rem Koolhaas on such an uplifting and inspiring installation. Luminaire acts as a transformative portal to the world of Monditalia, Rem’s vivid tableau of Italian history, and offers a fresh perspective, literally bringing new light to bear on a familiar place.”
Luminaire will be a gateway into a very different Biennale, one where the established order of contemporary architecture is investigated, upturned and chronicled, with art, science and entertainment coming together to decipher the legacy of a century of Modernism.
This year’s International Architecture Exhibition, entitled Fundamentals, is a major re-staging which will renew the Biennale’s emphasis on the history of architecture and architectural culture. Fundamentals consists of three interlocking exhibitions: Elements of Architecture in the Central Pavilion; ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’ in the National Pavilions; and Monditalia, which will fill the cavernous halls of the Arsenale. Together they will illuminate the past, present and future of architecture.
The Luminaire is being constructed in a traditional workshop in Puglia by a family-run business with generations of manufacturing experience. Constructed from thousands of coloured glass light bulbs set on an elaborate wooden framework, the Luminaire evokes the elaborate Renaissance façades of Venice’s palazzos. Placed alongside the lights are thousands of Swarovski crystals, creating an installation that reflects light as well as generating it.
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