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Paris unveils Champs-Élysées fountains featuring more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals

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Designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec created six new fountains for the Champs-Élysées 

Aerial image of fountains on roundabout
Aerial image of the fountains.
Image: Swarovski

The Champs-Élysées is Paris’s most famous street, thanks to architectural wonders like the Arc de Triomphe and the Grand Palais. Now, the thoroughfare is getting a set of glimmering fountains, courtesy of French design duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

The brothers created six soaring fountains that will be unveiled today on the roundabout Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées. Incorporating a total of 3,060 Swarovski crystals, the fountains surround the edge of the roundabout and catch the sunlight like giant chandeliers. They’re also, per a press release, “the first permanent outdoor installation Swarovski crystals in the public realm.”

Tip of gold and crystal fountain Photo: Swarovski

The fountains are 42 feet tall, a conscious decision from the designers to make them blend in with the surrounding trees as much as gold, glittering fountains can. Each has a spindly geometric form that is meant to make them look like they’re floating in the air. Water runs over the crystals and down to the base as the fountain rotates on its base, enhancing their shine.

Crystals shining in the sunlight Photo: Swarovski
Fountain glowing at night Photo: Swarovski

Strips of LEDs were embedded into the clear crystals that help the fountains shine at night and in different colors.

“In this instance, crystal is like a living substance,” the designers said. “Its perception shifts with the changing light of day and over the course of the seasons. At night, the crystal diffuses a soft light.”

It’s an opulent choice to be sure, but what else would you expect for the City of Lights?