Architect creates crystal palace for Design Miami

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The Independent Online

American archtect Greg Lynn has designed an installation out of carbon and 1.5 million crystals for the ongoing Swarovski Crystal Palace project that will go on show during the design fair in December.

Using carbon-compressing technologies from the sailing and ship-building industries, Lynn built a seven-meter-high structure out of lightweight, crystal-encrusted panel 'sails' that are just one millimeter thick. They are so thin in fact that even the biggest of the panels, with a surface of more than 50 square meters, can be folded and packed into the trunk of a car.

However: "The sails are made to cope with massive loads from the wind," Lynn said. "It's like hanging 3 SUVs off a paper thin sheet."

The transparent 'wonder panels' were thought up by the well-known architect, who gained popularity through his biomorphic structures - but they were assembled by robots at a sails factory. More than a hundred thousand meters of carbon and aramid fibres give the structure its main colors (black, gold and crimson), with the 1.5 million crystals, set in between the fibres, adding extra reflection and sparkle in aquamarine, pink, red, peach and blue.

His concept followed the usual Swarovski Crystal Palace brief to integrate the small sparkly stones the brand is known for into large-scale elements. Past collaborators include architects and designers such as Zaha Hadid, Tom Dixon, and Ron Arad.

The structure will be located at the entrance to the Designers' Lounge at Design Miami, which takes place December 1-5 in the city's Design District. The event coincides with Art Miami, Art Basel Miami and Photo Miami, among others.