Baccarat Hotel: 250 years of crystal know-how meets the latest LED technology to create a luxury hotel experience

 

The most successful brands transcend simple recognition. They are no longer just a symbol, a tagline, or a catchy jingle. Brands, in order to gain and maintain loyal customers, are transitioning to fully immersive experiences.


When Baccarat, a trusted French crystal manufacturer, opened its flagship hotel in New York, New York, it had the unique opportunity to showcase its legacy of high-quality crystal and combine it with a debut into the hospitality industry.

Image courtesy of Sosolimited
Image courtesy of Sosolimited

 

The hotel designers aimed to bring the elegance and tradition of historical Parisian hotels to the modern five-star ambiance of the first Baccarat hotel. They turned to Baccarat’s Harcourt crystal design line for inspiration and conceptualized a wall using the Harcourt stemware paired with the newest LED lighting technology.

Just as DIRECTV did with the Aurora installation at the entrance of their building, Baccarat wanted to bring their brand to life. They did this by combining 250 years of crystal and an aspiration to establish a clear identity in their hotel lobby.
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Image courtesy of Hypersonic
The breathtaking result is a wall of panels mounted with Harcourt glasses and illuminated with iColor Flex LMX gen2 nodes from Philips Color Kinetics. Art and technology studio Sosolimited and Hypersonic Engineering & Design worked together to translate the designers’ goals of using timeless Baccarat crystal and light into a dynamic installation.
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Image courtesy of Sosolimited
“Our challenge was to make it interesting and unpredictable as you walk through the space,” said Rothenberg. “We wanted highs and lows—soft textures that are suddenly punctuated by a burst of light and animation.“
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Image courtesy of Hypersonic
Three different light shows play over a 24 hour period. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. there are geometric patterns shimmering across the glasses. From 4 p.m. to midnight, the light flickers to mimic votive candles. And from midnight to 8 a.m. a column of smoke travels up the wall. These are the just the foundation of the light shows. On top of these background programs, different animation travels across the panels every minute or so. It looks like an explosion of quick visual bursts to keep the wall feeling fresh and dynamic.
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Image courtesy of Hypersonic
There is also a light feature that marks the passage of time. The wall is divided in four columns. At 15 minutes past the hour, the wall goes dark and the first column fills with a new animation. At 30 minutes past the hour, two columns fill with the animation. The cycle continues until, at the top of the hour, all four columns are filled.
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Image courtesy of Hypersonic
The lobby now sparkles with light to reflect the brand presence of the high-end Manhattan hotel and crystal manufacturer. The dynamic installation, whether subtly lit or telling a more obvious visual story, blends all the qualities Baccarat sought to express its brand and support its identity. These qualities communicate luxury and sophistication, characteristics for which Baccarat is known.
Image courtesy of Sosolimited
Image courtesy of Hypersonic
“We wanted to reference the history of the Baccarat brand, but also express that the hotel was a contemporary interpretation of the brand,” Rothenberg said.
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