Monumental bronze masts stand 13 meters high above renovated 19th century basins on the Champs-Elysées roundabout between Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. Each structure revolves gracefully as water flows up through the mast and streams out from glowing crystal limbs lit with sustainable LED technology. Each faceted crystal reflects the hues and movements of nature through infinite optical effects, creating a dreamy wonderland that mirrors the ebb and flow of this busy city intersection.
Ronan explained, “We worked with Swarovski and their design office to combine crystal and light in a discreet and innovative luminous device. In this instance, crystal is like a living substance; its perception shifts with the changing light of day and over the course of the seasons.”
As a permanent outdoor installation, the Champs-Elysées Fountains required crystal that was lightweight, resilient and easy to maintain – something Ronan noted would “withstand harsh weather conditions and environmental changes due to its composition and mode of assembly.” This inspired a new specially patented tailor-made formula that registers as 30% lighter than traditional crystal, as well as the development of a new support structure that allows for quick and convenient upkeep.
A total of three years of development, 40 companies and 250 people went into the design and production of this initiative, rivaling the technologically complex creations of the aviation or watchmaking industries.
Swarovski’s partnership with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec was established in 2007 with Caillou, a lighting collaboration for the Swarovski Crystal Palace in Milan, followed by the Gabriel Chandelier for the Château de Versailles in 2013.
Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with our longstanding creative partners Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec on this innovative design project for the people of Paris and its many visitors from around the world. A visually stunning commission in an iconic location, these fountains incorporate hundreds of Swarovski crystals using patented new techniques and technologies which will help them to shine bright for many decades to come.”