ROM Announces Swarovski Chandelier

Libeskind designs chandelier for Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

Chandelier design by Daniel Libeskind, made and donated by Swarovski. Image courtesy of Studio Daniel Libeskind.

The ROM’s new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal is getting a crystal of its own, when a new chandelier designed by architect Daniel Libeskind and donated by Swarovski, is installed over the grand staircase on the Lee-Chin Crystal’s fourth floor. Libeskind was on hand today at the ROM, to announce this new project and unveil his latest creation, the Spirit House Chair (see release titled "ROM Unveils Spirit House Chair," issued May 9, 2007).

"We are so pleased to be working with a firm like Swarovski, internationally recognized for their use of light and crystal in the areas of fashion and design" said William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum. "This project creates a wonderful link between our galleries on the fourth floor dedicated to contemporary culture, fashion and design, and C5, the most exciting new dining destination in Toronto."

The inspiration for the dramatic, 29-foot long Libeskind-designed chandelier is the complex, structural steel skeleton that is now hidden under the glass and aluminium skin of the Lee-Chin Crystal. The intricate configuration of this one-of-a-kind lighting fixture is an inverted wireframe model reinterpreting the edges of the building’s architecture, which will stretch across the ceiling to emphasize the oblique corners of the contemporary Libeskind design.

Made from aluminium tubing, the chandelier will sparkle with approximately 130,000 encrusted Swarovski crystals. The crystals will be lit from underneath by fiber-optic lighting technology, creating a delicate, glowing lace. The chandelier will be installed on the staircase between the Level 4 Institute for Contemporary Culture gallery and the Level 5 Crystal Five (C5) Restaurant Lounge.

"We are delighted to commission Daniel Libeskind to create this unprecedented work, which integrates Mr. Libeskind's compelling artistic view with the distinctive architecture of the new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal building,” said Nadja Swarovski, Vice President of International Communications for Swarovski. “It is an honor for Swarovski to donate this chandelier to the Royal Ontario Museum, one of Canada's great cultural treasures."

The ROM plans to unveil the installed chandelier in Fall 2007.

On June 2, 2007, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the centrepiece of the Renaissance ROM expansion project, opens to the public. The 175,000 square-foot, aluminium-and-glass-covered Lee-Chin Crystal will house seven permanent galleries overlooking Bloor Street West, a new main entrance and lobby, the ROM Museum Store, Crystal Five (C5) Restaurant Lounge and special events facilities, as well as Canada’s largest space for international exhibitions.

112 years ago, in 1895, Daniel Swarovski I, a Bohemian inventor and visionary, moved to the village of Wattens, Tyrol in Austria, with his newly-invented machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewellery stones. From these beginnings, which revolutionised the fashion world, Swarovski has grown to be the world’s leading producer of precision-cut crystal, for fashion, jewellery and more recently lighting, architecture and interiors.

Today, the company, still based in Wattens, family-owned and run by 4th and 5th generation family members, has a global reach, with some 20,000 employees, a presence in over 120 countries and a turnover in 2006 of 2,37 billion Euros. Swarovski comprises two major divisions, one producing and selling loose crystals to the industry and the other creating design-driven finished products. Swarovski crystal components, known by their product brand names CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements for fashion and STRASS® Swarovski® Crystal for architecture and light, have become an essential ingredient of international design.

Showing the creativity that lies at the heart of the company, Swarovski’s own-brand lines of accessories, jewellery and home décor are sold through more than 1150 Swarovski stores and concessions in all major fashion capitals, while the exclusive Daniel Swarovski accessories collection has become the company’s Couture signature.

The Swarovski Crystal Society has close to 400,000 members worldwide, keen collectors of the celebrated crystal figurines. And in Wattens, Crystal Worlds, the multi-media crystal museum, has attracted over 7 million visitors since it was opened in 1995, as a celebration of Swarovski’s universe of innovation and inspiration, of crystal as the ultimate creative material.

The Swarovski corporation also includes four industrial brands, Tyrolit®, manufacturing grinding tools, Swareflex, for road safety reflectors, Optik, producing precision optical instruments and Signity, Swarovski’s brand for genuine and created gemstones.