Their first collaboration was initiated by Nadja Swarovski, who commissioned the brothers to create a piece for the Swarovski Crystal Palace project in 2007. It was a brilliant fit: the Bouroullecs have rebellious streak and tend to challenge convention. The resulting piece, Caillou, an enlarged, chrome-coated crystal containing a concealed LED, represented a radical departure from conventional chandeliers. The brothers talked up its fairy tale quality at the time: ‘It’s like finding a very special stone in the forest that you want pick up and look at.’ Yet it was technologically advanced: it is rechargeable and switched on and off simply by touching it.
Then in 2011, the Bouroullecs won a competition to dream up a permanent artwork to illuminate the Gabriel Staircase at the Palace of Versailles. In a nod to the palace’s chandeliers, the brothers used crystals for their 12m-high Gabriel Chandelier (installed in 2013). Once more, they turned to the Austrian company to assist them, with the chandelier’s crystal beads each enclosing an LED light — a recent lighting technology launched by Swarovski. The Bouroullecs summed up their strikingly simple Gabriel Chandelier as ‘contemporary not historic’, comprising a single chain of crystals suspended from four points in the ceiling. The collaboration was all the more fitting since Swarovski, a patron of Versailles, has provided its apartments with lighting technology for the past 30 years, and in 2016, Nadja was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of Swarovski's support for the palace.
In 2019, Parisians were confronted by another typically streamlined but enchanting intervention by the brothers: six fountains surrounding the Champs-Elysées roundabout made of bronze masts incorporating 3,060 faceted crystals and LEDs suitable for outdoor use, all custom produced by Swarovski as a supporter of the project. Today water shoots down from the bases of the masts as the fountains rotate gracefully, and as Swarovski’s first public outdoor installation, it represents another milestone for a company always looking forward.