rem koolhaas frames monditalia entrance with swarovski-encrusted luminaire
lighting up the entrance to the monditalia exhibition at the 2014 venice architecture biennale is the glowing gateway ‘luminaire’, designed by rem koolhaas in collaboration with swarovski. thousands of vibrant glass bulbs and 15kg swarovski crystal rocks are set on a wooden framework, evoking the elaborate renaissance façades of venetian palazzos. dramatically towering over visitors to the architectural exhibit, the structure stands at 6 meters in height and spans 20 meters down the length of the arsenale’s first room, symbolically referencing the grand-scale urban lighting installations that are an integral part of italian culture.
rem koolhaas in front of luminaire at the arsenale
photos by © gilbert mccarragher
constructed in a traditional workshop in puglia, ‘luminaire’ exists as the gateway to the curated display of 41 projects describing the italian territory. together the crystal and illumination, which cast a brilliant glow throughout the historic site, exemplify the traditional venetian archways, and the lights often used during celebrations and religious feasts all over the region. koolhaas describes the visual and metaphorical link the portal forms to the theme of the contents within the gallery space: ‘the topics of monditalia are the current state of italy, between treasure and crisis, knowledge and controversies, history and politics, perfectly introduced by a special entrance gate which we developed with swarovski.’