Harrods department store is among the world’s best known shopping destinations. Located in the Knightsbridge district of London, it enjoys a long-held reputation for blending traditional values and luxury goods. Drawing on this history, architectural practice Made recently completed a refurbishment of the store’s Grand Hall, blending contemporary technology with a classic architectural aesthetic. Complementing this new space is a chandelier by American artist, Dale Chihuly.
Amber and Gold Chandelier is the first piece of art to be commissioned by Harrods. Comprising 1,400 hand-blown glass elements, flown in from Seattle, where Chihuly Studio is based, the piece was assembled on site over several days. Positioned above the hallway that links a restored 1928 staircase and a new set of escalators (clad in swooping bronze detailing that matches the pattern of the buidling’s façade), the chandelier acts as a dramatic statement piece, greeting customers as they pass through the the Basil Street entrance.
The unique Chandelier includes a new hand-blown element called a Frond. Its vibrant golden colour is offset by the opaqueness of the glass. Hung against the backdrop of the bronze-clad escalator and limestone walls, the Chandelier creates a significant impact.
Chihuly is perhaps best known for his 2001 exhibition at the V&A Museum, when a 27-foot-long V&A Chandelier – inaugurated by the Queen – was installed in the grand entrance hall.
The unveilling of the new Harrods chandelier coincided with an exhibition of Chihuly’s work at the Halcyon Gallery on London’s Bond Street. Key works were also on show at Halcyon Gallery Harrods, a sister space on the 2nd floor of the department store.