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SFMOMA Architect Mario Botta Unveils Dazzling Architectural Vases for Lalique

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Géo was inspired by the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara

The mid-way point of New York Design Week—a.k.a. NYCxDESIGN—has arrived, a hump day of sorts. And though it's been chock full of eye candy, the whole affair can be an exhausting visual feast. So, this sparkling vase from architect Mario Botta is a nice amuse-bouche as we head into the second half of the annual event.

Botta, the original architect of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)—which will reopen this week after a highly anticipated expansion by New York and Oslo-based firm Snøhetta—has teamed up with French crystal powerhouse Lalique to create Géo, a limited-edition series of architectural vases.

The geometric vase, a perfect square, features trippy pyramidal facets that arrange themselves around a hole, or "core," in the center and fan out. "[The] vase can be interpreted as the miniature of a large palace," states Botta on Lalique's website. Apparently, the Swiss architect was inspired by the Palazzo dei Diamanti in the northern Italian city of Ferrara, whose exterior consists of thousands of marble blocks that have been carved to look like diamonds.

Géo is available in clear crystal, midnight-blue crystal, and black crystal. The vases were made using the "lost wax" technique, which originated in China 3,000 years ago:

Refractory plaster is moulded around a wax model that melts during firing in the kiln. The hollow left in the mould is three-dimensional, ready to receive the crystal. In the case of Géo, the crystal remains in the kiln for 20 days.

Géo is just the latest example of design objets—from home goods to jewelry—created by architects. Lalique's previous collaboration was with the late Zaha Hadid, who created the Visio and Manifesto vases for the crystal company. Hadid also created a line of jewelry for Danish design house Georg Jensen that feature her signature swooping, futuristic style.