Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and made by Swarovski, the Gabriel Chandelier is the first contemporary design commission installed in the Palace of Versailles. Back in 2011 the Bouroullec brothers won a competition that was staged by the Public Administration of the Palace, Museum and State Property Department of Versailles for the design of a permanent artwork that would light up the big Gabriel Staircase in the palace's main entry. The Gabriel Staircase is a monumental space designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1772 but not completed until the 1980s – with a century between the finished works, the staircase lacked a focal point.

Connecting both history and materials used in traditional chandeliers designed for ceremonial rooms, the Bouroullec's have created a very strong link between past and present while preserving the unique nature of the palace. The 12-metre high 'necklace' is suspended in loops from the towering ceiling,  its three interlacing strands constructed from hundreds of Swarovski crystals forming a cascading luminous chain – visually simple and contemporary in form while highly complex in its resolve.

The accompanying film is by Juriaan Booij, produced by Swarovski – filmed on location with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec during the installation of Lustre Gabriel at Château de Versailles.

 

Comment