TechnoAlpin, a global leader in snowmaking, partnered with Swarovski to create a wholly unique indoor snowfall experience for visitors to Austria’s Swarovski Crystal Worlds museum, which is one of Austria’s biggest tourist attractions. The museum is known for installations by internationally acclaimed artists, designers and architects who interpret the beauty of crystals with their own inimitable vision.
According to TechnoAlpin, the installation, which can be experienced in the Chamber of Wonder, is a dynamic snowfall created behind closed doors and unique in various respectts. TechnoAlpin has long provided landscape snow for indoor snow rooms for well-known retailers of cold-weather gear, including Canada Goose and Woolrich in North America, as well as European spa and wellness destinations, but this project sought to harness the beauty and delight of natural snowfall indoors for visitors to enjoy. Typically, indoor snowmaking is created by spraying cold compressed air and water in a room and is carried out at night or when the room is empty. TechnoAlpin’s new technology creates snow in a more gentle, natural manner, enabling guests to experience real snow falling versus having the snow blasted into a room to be enjoyed later.
“This installation is our first simulation of natural snowfall, a feat that took our engineers over two years to achieve,” said Erich Gummerer, TechnoAlpin CEO. “We have been creating indoor snow worlds for over a decade—most typically as a gentle cooling experience during wellness journeys and for retailers seeking an experiential shopping experience for consumers.”
Fittingly, the snowfall launch coincides with the Swarovski Crystal Worlds museum’s 25th anniversary. The “Silent Light” crystal tree was conceived more than 15 years ago by Dutch designer Tord Boontje, in collaboration with fashion designer Alexander McQueen; but it wasn’t until Boontje discovered TechnoAlpin’s SnowRoom, and challenged the company to develop snowfall technology, that their original vision for a snow-covered tree and a wintry landscape with falling snow could become a reality.
“Snowfall adds another natural dimension to this room. The dual approach is really exciting: what is real versus what is an illusion of nature? The ephemeral appeal of snow crystals is in direct contrast to Swarovski crystals, whose splendor lasts forever,” said Boontje.The size of the “Silent Light” snow-covered area is technically significant, at 65 m² or nearly 700 square feet, and is designed to allow a large number of visitors to experience the winter wonderland at the same time. In keeping with the company’s sustainability principles, the installation is resource-efficient, leveraging high-quality insulating and triple glazing to maintain temperature and save energy.
“Swarovski challenged us to create a never-before-seen experience—indoor snowfall. This installation has proven that our team of engineers is ready for any challenge we give them,” said Gummerer. “Currently, we’re expanding to North American, bringing the wonder of snow to geographic locations that might never experience a natural snowfall!”Gummerer noted that TechnoAlpin’s technology can be applied to almost any venue in North America—from spas to retail outlets to amusement parks—anywhere snow can make the consumer experience more delightful, driving more traffic and excitement.