Building Clouds: Swarovski Crystal Worlds

 

Using the slogan “Building architecture as light and variable as clouds”, the Vienna architecture office Coop Himmelb(l)au began to change the world of architecture in the 1960s. Gravity, how-ever, often brought their cloud-like, airy designs back down to earth. Effectively fighting gravity is not something that Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot’s Crystal Cloud at the Swarovski Cyrstal Worlds in the Tyrolean town of Wattens can claim to do either. The forest of columns holding up the crystal-laden, cloud-like wire structure is proof of this. Visitors can walk along a ramp that drops down into the middle of the pool, allowing them to experience the interplay of light and colours from the height of the water’s surface.

 

Crystal-Cloud-Swarovski
Swarovski Kristallwelten

 

Spielturm-Crystal-Tyrol
Patrick Lüth

 

The 1,400-square-metre Crystal Cloud is the centre-piece of the 7.5-hectare park, which opened in Wattens on 30 April. The cloud and pool are located in a shallow depression surrounded by graded banks and birch trees. Contoured mounds separate the park from the surrounding area.

An innovative “Playtower” and playground designed by the architecture firm Snøhetta supplements the park landscape. The 20-metre-high tower offers a variety of possibilities to climb, jump and actively play, and also has a 14-metre-high continuous climbing net. Outside, children can play on the free-form wooden platform.

Read the full article in Topos 91 – Urban Projects, Squares and Promenades