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Studio Roso's Palace Chandelier Is Baroque Art For The 21st Century

Sophie Nielsen and Rolf Knudsen’s latest site-specific piece is an abstract take on both nature and palatial grandeur.
May 17, 2013, 2:30pm

Set in the Baroque splendour of a 16th century palace that's usually the backdrop to Hollywood movies, period dramas, and vacationing tourists hangs a chandelier that relies entirely on reflected light for illumination.

Palace Chandelier is a temporary structure hanging from the ceiling of the Queen's Staircase, built in the 1700s, in historic Hampton Court Palace and welcomes people to the Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber exhibition. It was inspired by nature and is a modern spin on the Baroque style that surrounds it, extending itself into the space through reflection and shadow-play.

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The chandelier is the latest site-specific piece from Danish design duo Studio Roso, Sophie Nielsen and Rolf Knudsen.

Modeling the piece

Building on their previous work—like Mirror Chandelier—the piece was modeled digitally in 3D using Rhino. All their pieces are site-specific and start out this way so they can see how they'll look and behave in the space they'll eventually inhabit, and ensure they'll become an integrated part of their surroundings. After the modeling stage came the physical build and, unusually for them, the chandelier was created entirely in their studio (below). An engineering company built the main structure, an aluminium mirror-polished frame, and another supplier did the wire bent units while another did the mirror-polished disks.

After engineering those different components the piece was about 80% finished. The rest of the build was left to chance and intuition as the two shortened or lengthened the stems and sculpted it by hand, ensuring the piece had an element of randomness and grew in an organic way.

Building it in the studio

The install

The finished piece

Palace Chandelier will be at Hampton Court Palace until November 3, 2013.

Images courtesy of Studio Roso.

@stewart23rd