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Snow-covered Swarovski Kristallwelten - courtesy of TechnoAlpin
Everything is perfectly still. Frost glitters on the trees and the snow casts a sparkling glow over the surrounding area. A Tyrolean winter landscape? Not quite. From July 3, 2020 onwards, the newly created "Silent Light" Chamber of Wonder at Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Worlds) will enchant visitors as it transforms into a magical winter wonderland with sub-zero temperatures and real snow falling softly from the ceiling. And this spectacular setting has been brought to life by innovative company, TechnoAlpin. The South Tyrolean company has devised a unique and tailor-made indoor snow-making solution for Swarovski Crystal Worlds where "Let it snow" can be a magical experience all year round.
Dutch designer Tord Boontje joined forces with fashion designer Alexander McQueen to create the focal point of the Chamber of Wonder, namely the "Silent Light Tree", over 15 years ago. This year, the crystal tree finally takes center-stage, as its designer originally intended, in the guise of a majestic, ice-laden tree amidst a snow-covered landscape. Previously, an indoor vision of nature was not technically feasible in this setting, but in 2018, Boontje discovered the Snow Room created by Bolzano-based company TechnoAlpin. "Snow adds another natural dimension to this room. The dual approach is really exciting: the interplay between reality and illusion, suggested by Nature? The ephemeral appeal of snow crystals is in direct contrast to Swarovski crystals, whose splendor lasts forever," muses the designer.
Vision meets innovation
The world market leader for snow-making worked tirelessly for two years alongside a 10-strong team from Swarowski to devise the ultimate, exclusive snow-falling solution for the Wattens' Chamber of Wonder. Boontje's vision could eventually become a reality: in a room where winter stands still. So, from July onwards, anyone venturing inside the Chamber of Wonder will not only be amazed by the intricate crystal design, but can also stroll through a freshly snow-covered winter landscape with snow romantically falling from above. "The Snow Room temperature is maintained at -5°C (23°F), which means that the fine water spray from the snow jets immediately freezes to form snowflakes. Simulated snow fall with real snowflakes gently falling from above is a novelty for Swarovski Crystal Worlds and also a first for us," explains Erich Gummerer, TechnoAlpin CEO. "This innovative technology is extremely effective and gentle on resources. High-quality insulating panels, triple glazing and the avoidance of any warm bridges ensure that the low temperature is maintained under optimal conditions after the initial cooling period. The snow cover also acts as a cold reservoir. An air-conditioned anteroom promotes effective cooling and also makes it comfortable for visitors to move between warm and cold areas."
The Bolzano-based company drew on its many years of indoor snow-making experience to technically create the exhibition room. Various solutions have been developed to make snow a year-round experience, not only in large indoor ski venues but also in hotels and flagship stores. The TechnoAlpin Snow Room is the latest innovation and a jewel in the wellness crown. It has been specially developed for the Swarovski Crystal Worlds' Chamber of Wonder. The exhibition room differs from the Snow Room not only in terms of size but also with regard to function. As with all Snow Rooms, a large quantity of snow is produced at night to create a deceptively real winter landscape. However, genuine snowfall from a 5-meter-high ceiling during routine operations is the "icing on the cake" and a world-wide product innovation. Cautious onlookers can stay warm and cozy behind a glass panel and watch the spectacle unfold, while others, eager to be part of the action, can actually touch the snow. The wintry landscape is accentuated by crystals that sparkle in the light thanks to the creative flair of designer, Tord Boontje.