Already a top tourist attraction in Austria, the Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) just got a playful, starchitect-cosigned expansion for its 120th anniversary this year. When the museum reopened to the public last week, visitors, particularly the young ones, were treated to three new features: a 65-foot play tower, a "free-form" outdoor playground, and a curvy concrete and copper cafe and restaurant—all designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta, in collaboration with local firms Cao Perrot and s_o_s architekten.
The translucent facade of the four-level play tower is made up of 160 unique crystal panels, each of which, as Snøhetta explains on its project page, are "printed with an innovative pattern made from millions of tiny motifs that are linked to the history of Swarovski." Inside, there's a custom climbing net and a trampoline park with 360-degree views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. The designers who reworked the entrance to a shopping area, which now features a light and sound installation that approximate "an emotional and virtual time travel" (read: tons of glowing fiber in a dark spirally tunnel.)
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· All Snøhetta coverage [Curbed]