Heaven Is a Place On Earth (Swarovski Veil) by Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven
2016 - 2017, Platinum A' Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design Award Winner
During the day, rays of sun and passing clouds toy with the new space, creating a continual metamorphosis. Depending on how the sunlight meets the curtain and on the visual angle, the curtain emerges either as a dazzling, sparkling veil or vanishes completely from the eye. The incessant transformation of the curtain at daytime triggered by the sun and the clouds is emulated at nightfall by luminaria.
The Veil transforms the Swarovskistrasse in a bright boulevard of constant magical change. The new pathway marked by the billowing veiled curtain becomes a new place of poetic play, of light and shade, of magical moments of expression and transformation. Behind the Veil the new glass factory D. Swarovski is located and runs the best kept business secret of the company until today. Visitors treat the factory gate as a threshold to a secret, to the origin of the crystal myth perse.
Design Challenges
Particular attention had to be given to engineering the section details. Especially the hinged profiles to the upper and lower edge of the mesh called for an intensive development process. The profiles had to meet static requirements, be easy to assemble and, once completed, run seamlessly. To verify the plans, the calculations as well as the assembly technologies, a mock-up of a complete partial segment was created. The mesh is not harnessed, but is stretch-formed to forestall the malleable elongation that arose after being fitted, which was determined during the tests. The bottom is attached to the ground with tie rods.
Production Technology
The particular attraction of the curtain lies in the gentle reflection of the material. Known in Medieval times as the chain armor of knights, this is the first time a metal weave is being used architecturally for an outdoor project. Consisting of around 26,250,000 separate interlocked links, it was currently the world’s largest single surface made of metal ring mesh. The panels measuring 4.80 meters in width were assembled on site into a whole. The aim was to realize a metal curtain for outdoors with all the visual, haptic and textile properties: soft as steel, yet very sturdy.
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