$500,000 chandelier is glass with class

A $500,000 light sculpture called Alice is set to dazzle potential buyers at this month's Downtown Design event in Dubai.

Alice, the $500,000 bespoke chandelier designed by Petra Krausová. Courtesy Lasvit
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If you want something a little more exotic to hang in your hallway, then a $500,000 chandelier might be the answer.

The luxury light fitting, called Alice, is not only attractive to look at but is also programmable, to match the mood of the evening. According to the Czech company Lasvit, the light design company marketing the sculpture, it doesn't pulse but alters imperceptibly, the components changing as one to enhance the atmosphere.

Available to buy this month from Downtown Design, a luxury design trade event starting on October 28 in Downtown Dubai, the hand -made installation was created by Petra Krausova, a designer at Lasvit.

Her designs make Ikea look behind the times, not that she plays in the same league as Ikea. The Czech Republic, or more specifically the historical territory of Bohemia, has a tradition of glass-producing stretching back for more than seven centuries and its glasswork is considered a national treasure.

According to Lasvit, Alice is a wonderful piece of glasswork that is a one-off, never to be repeated, piece of art. The Czech company, in the space of eight years, has become a world leader in its sector, making an international name for itself by creating chandeliers that are pharaonic in size. It looks to modernise lighting by experimenting with all the known techniques, from complex mouth-blowing to moulding, and tested in every way possible.

It has created lighting for Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong (a project that kept the team busy for more than three months) and the shops of Tiffany & Co, City of Dreams in Macao with its 6-metre tall Anemone sculpture, and the latest Dior boutique in Paris.

Alice is the company's latest creation, with the company describing its inspiration as a "search for commonality in glass and nature".

While I’m not sure it has achieved this, there is something very natural and feminine about the piece while still being ultra-modern. The technology that enables the lights to dim and oscillate (it’s not just a dimmer switch, apparently) is being kept a trade secret, such is the effect it creates.

q&a Alice in Wonderland

Cristina Romelli Gervasoni, fair director of Downtown Design, reveals more about the luxury light sculpture called Alice.

What is Alice?

Alice is a kinetic glass art installation. It is a piece combining eight centuries old tradition of Bohemian glass making with contemporary design and advanced technology. The piece creates unforgettable atmosphere and lasting experience.

Why is it so valuable?

It is a collector's item. It is made of the highest quality crystal glass, hand made in the Czech Republic. The inspiration behind the Alice sculpture was a search for commonality in glass and nature. Glass, as in nature, is organic and unpredictable, where each leaf and tree is unique. Bringing these unique optical properties of glass to the sculpture evokes an experience underpinned by its name, a sense of Alice in Wonderland. Alice is a kinetic bloom, its traces to flowers equally fragile, original and unique. Since ancient times, flowers symbolised peace and love, values as fragile as the flowers themselves and an undeniable property of glass.

Where will I be able to see it?

Downtown Design, held from October 28-31 at the Venue, Downtown Dubai is the Middle East’s newest platform for global design. The exhibition is in it’s second edition and attracts global designers including Lasvit, Herman Miller, Fritz Hansen, Carl Hansen, Elica, Gaggenau, Hansgrohe and Vitra among others. Design enthusiasts can discover the latest trends, innovative products and installations from the world’s most influential design brands that are revolutionising the way we live, work and travel.


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