In celebration of its 120th anniversary, Swarovski recently reopened Crystal Worlds (Kristallwelten), its hybrid museum and cultural attraction in Austria, with an extensive expansion. In addition to more than doubling its surface area, there are several new art installations, a family-friendly play tower, and a dazzling high-design restaurant.
Swarovski, founded in Tyrol where the museum is located, is the crystal manufacturer that brought you Dorothy’s ruby-encrusted slippers in The Wizard of Oz and the 550-pound ornament that tops the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City. It’s long been linked to the design and fashion worlds, a relationship it drew upon when creating the Swarovski Kristallwelten museum.
It reached out to globally recognized artists and architects (André Heller, Alexander McQueen, Tord Boontje and Brian Eno among them) to create the various works and experiences that draw more than half a million visitors annually. Now, after a $38 million investment, there’s a restaurant by Snøhetta, who also designed the play tower, an installation called Crystal Cloud by Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot, and much more.
Previous standing exhibits have been updated, and all features are open and accepting visitors; tickets can be purchased ($21) online.