Ever the backdrop for contemporary art and design, Versailles was recently ordained with Lustre Gabriel – a chain-like chandelier designed by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec in collaboration with Swarovski. 800 crystal vessels drape down a stainless steel skeleton, equipped with LEDs. Weighing half a tonne, the chandelier hangs from the foyer’s 20 metre high ceiling through four 5cm holes.

Commissioned to create a focal point, the Bouroullecs envisioned a monumental light source with an ethereal presence. Exploring materials that have timeless properties, the designer duo wanted to make it seem like Lustre Gabriel had been there since this wing of Versailles was built in 1772. Swarovski crystals were an obvious choice. For the Bouroullecs, it was important that the chandelier’s shape derive from physics and not random form. Though minimal and refined, Lustre Gabriel’s asymmetric composition is a modern spin on classic aesthetics.

Photos courtesy of Studio Bouroullec

Video Juriaan Booij