House style

Daniel Libe­skind’s Christ­mas col­lab­o­ra­tion with Swarovski

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents - Jes­sica Doyle

Swarovski’s very fes­tive new col­lab­o­ra­tion

EVER SINCE IT MADE its first ap­pear­ance al­most 90 years ago, the Christ­mas tree at the Rock­e­feller Cen­ter in New York has been a sym­bol of hope. First of­fi­cially in­stalled in 1933, when Amer­ica was in the depths of the Great De­pres­sion (an unof­fi­cial tree was set up by con­struc­tion work­ers build­ing the Cen­ter two years pre­vi­ously), it has grown big­ger and glitzier in the decades since, be­com­ing a much-loved fes­tive icon.

In 2004, Swarovski upped the glam­our by pro­duc­ing a crys­tal star to crown the tree, and this year it has gone one bet­ter, un­veil­ing a new de­sign by the ar­chi­tect Daniel Libe­skind that is surely the world’s most spec­tac­u­lar tree-top­per.

Libe­skind is known pri­mar­ily for de­sign­ing the mas­ter plan for the re­de­vel­op­ment of the World Trade Cen­ter site. One would think a Christ­mas star would be a sim­ple un­der­tak­ing for him – but ‘the tech­nol­ogy at the core of the star, which ra­di­ates the light, was a cre­ative ad­ven­ture,’ he says. He started with ‘in­tu­ition: a crazy sketch. I never start by ask­ing what can be built, I just draw some­thing. If you start with the im­pos­si­ble, you might make it pos­si­ble.’

His de­sign for the star was in­spired by Leonardo da Vinci’s geo­met­ric draw­ings and took two years to re­alise in its fin­ished, 3D form. Com­pris­ing 70 glass spikes, fit­ted with 200 LEDS and em­bed­ded with three mil­lion in­di­vid­ual Swarovski crys­tals, it weighs in at 900lbs and mea­sures 10 feet in di­am­e­ter.

‘It was a beau­ti­ful thing to work on, be­cause it’s not just the form of the star, but what it com­mu­ni­cates with its light,’ says Libe­skind. ‘We are stars: the el­e­ments of our bod­ies are made out of stardust. It’s a mys­tery and a won­der.’

The tree, which was lit last week, will be in place un­til 7 Jan­uary. And for those with­out their own 72ft spruce, Swarovski has re­pro­duced the star in minia­ture, laser-etched within a col­lec­tion of crys­tal or­na­ments for the tree, ta­ble or man­tel­piece.

From £59; swarovski.com

The 72ft-tall Nor­way spruce in New York

Daniel Libe­skind and Nadja Swarovski un­veil the 2018 Swarovski star

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