Swarovski Crystal Palace Carbon Crystal Sails at Design Miami 2009

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Swarovski Crystal Palace Carbon Crystal Sails

Swarovski Crystal Palace Carbon Crystal Sails

Magnificent Swarovski Crystal Palace Carbon Crystal Sails designed by Greg Lynn. The Carbon Crystal Sails installation was located at the entrance to the Design Miami VIP lounge. Elegantly sparkling and billowing sails spanning more than 80 square meters, reaching heights of over 7 square meters, and encrusted with more than 1,500,000 Swarovski crystals, made the Swarovski Crystal Palace installation the most awe-inspiring experience during a week of never-ending beauty.

Swarovski Carbon Crystal Sails soft purpl

greg lynn swarovski crystal palace design miami

Greg Lynn’s life long love of sailing, coupled with his knowledge of sailing material technology (hence the carbon sails) and computer modeling contributed to the creation of what is without a doubt the most stunning art installation at Design Miami.

Greg comments that upon being contacted by Swarovski for this commission, “ I immediately thought of the translucent laminate sails as a way of getting the crystals suspended in the air – not as an object but as a sheet or surface through which light could pass and be reflected. Like the chandeliers the array would be diaphanous but with their curved surfaces these ‘fabrics’ could also define spaces and make enclosures in the form of suspended ceilings, room partitions or even walls.”

detail view of greg lynn swarovski sails

Detail views of the Swarovski Crystal Palace installation of Carbon Crystal Sails. According to Swarovski:

The panels in Lynn’s installation will feature three different coloured fibres; black carbon fibre and aramid both in its ‘natural’ gold and in a crimson-died version. These fibres will be woven and incorporated in different ways, blending to create richly nuanced colours. Set amongst these fibres will be thousands of tiny clear and coloured crystals, with hues including aquamarine, pink, red, peach and blue, which will contribute to reflection, highlights and also surface washes of colour.

More than 1,500,000 crystals and more than 117,000 meters of carbon and aramid fibers have been used to create the panels for this installation, which were assembled by computer-guided robots on dynamically formed molds at the North Sails 3DL factory. The panels vary in size, with some as long as 14 m and as wide as 8m. The material is so thin that even panels with a surface area of over 50 square meters can easily be folded and packed into the trunk of a passenger car. The entire installation, including the weight of the crystals, weighs less than 350 kg.