Chandelier and flying curtain at The Schirn Kunsthalle TABLE
Sometimes fascinating solutions come from identifying a problem and for a short moment letting go, leaving aside all mundane limitations of budget, feasibility… pausing for a moment and simply wondering ‘what if’… Having a solution in mind, no matter how wild, sometimes does finds its way through all those mundane obstacles ignored earlier and becomes a reality.
Very naïve, but effective. This is how this ‘flying curtain’ and its chandelier came about.
The objective problem to overcome was a room height of 15 meters in a space where intimacy, even relative, should be present but was very missing. I have seen it as if we could practically place a three story building in the space and still stand on the roof… The solution derived from this analogy as the curtain we finally suspended is almost two stories high.
We had the idea to create a combination between soft architecture and a product. A soft and tactile element which would cater for warmth, enable intimacy and constitute a strong visual statement. Such an element should also create a new focus point in the otherwise problematic center of the space and facilitate extra spatial possibilities.
The solution is a very large round curtain (almost seven meters high and over five meters in diameter) which we suspended from the ceiling.
Enabling diverse spatial uses and expressions, the curtain is motorized and can sail up or down.
Although gigantic in its volume and height, when held in its upper position the curtain leaves the room open and light – benefiting from the extreme room height (the lowest point of the curtain is then almost five meters) When held down the curtain forms a closed intimate space, a real closed room in the center of the space. An interesting spatial effect comes about when the curtain is lifted just a little bit more, diffusing the borders between in and out, closed and open.
As a complimentary element we developed the equivalent spin-off on a chandelier in the center of the curtain. It is a very basic object made of single chains of light and suspended from the same tubular structure holding the curtain on the top. Each chain of light ends at its bottom with a hook (a standard part) – on which we ‘hung’ a steel rod ring, pulling down and straightening it all. On the whole, the chandelier together with the curtain adds a playful and theatrical moment to the straightforward architecture and interior.