Crystalline Creations

By Millie Winter

As we jump into the month of holiday spirit, we are reminded of why the month of December is so memorable. As you walk down the streets of Oxford, angels and stars hang above our heads as they are slung from one edifice to another. That twinkle brings us joy. Those that shine bring us happiness. The month reminds us of one of natures natural beauty: crystals. In the field of architecture, artists are bringing crystals to the table to elevate the game with the inclusion of a bit of sparkle and elegance to different aspects of building. The inclusion of crystalline magic brings a sense of royalty to any one aspect of architecture. In Crystalline Creations, we read into different creations that highlight such belle. 

Many know this city to be the location of romance. With romance comes grace, refinement, and sophistication. So, the French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have decided to dress the fountains of Paris with 3,060 Swarovski crystals.

Image from Bouroullec Brothers.

The three pieces of piping are supported by a primary bronze pole in the middle. Each branch of the fountain is dressed in Swarovski crystals. The branches glisten and shimmer in the daylight, but the shimmering continues through the night thanks to the inclusion of LEDs on the branches as well.

Image from Bouroullec Brothers.

Video from YouTube.

The world of crystals is definitely not limited to that of the pristine clear Swaroski crystal. The beauty of the rock lies within plenty of unique different gems. This architecturally bold project features the Amythest.

A new ambitious design, proposed by the Dutch studio, contains a blueprint for a hotel that is built to look like the giant purple quartz.

Image from NL Architects.

The NL architects studio has created this proposal to begin a design idea for a luxury chain of hotels, “gemstone of all gemstones”. The faceted glass that makes up the fantastical crystals is employed to house the guest rooms.

Image from NL Architects.

The Amythest holds great power in the world of crystals, so it is no wonder these dutch architects have chosen it for their big project. “Amethyst is believed to have healing properties that protect the bearer against negative energies,” according to Truly Experience.  

The process of crystallisation is a natural one. Material designers Henna Burney and Kalijn Sibbel,  at Atelier Luma, have taken to using this natural process to create a new form of an architectural medium: salt crystals to create a new cladding material.

Images from Atelier Luma.

Using salt marshes in South France, the designers have created glass-like panels. The goal of the project was to investigate the natural crystallisation of salt that happens in these marshes and to find new uses for the material in design and architecture.

Images from Atelier Luma.

The technique of crafting the panels has a low environmental impact and can be done on a regular basis at the site because it uses a natural crystallisation process.

Video from Youtube.

Through different elements of architecture examples, crystals have elevated the field. Their natural beauty has proven to be a positive impact on the architectural world.

If you enjoyed reading Crystalline Creations, why not check out Our City Celebrated here.