Project team:

Client: Hitmi Property Development
Architects: Norr Group Consultants International Limited
Light art installation: Beau McClellan
Glass façade panels, lighting controlled:
emdelight GmbH, Frankfurt on Main/D
Remote video-based system: LSI Saco Technologies
Planning and installation support:
Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC, Dubai/ UAE

05. Oct 2011

Reflective Flow
The poetry of the world’s largest chandelier

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Beau McClellan

The human sense of taste, style, and beauty is driven by age, gender and culture, but very often it is a small feature that wins you over: the buckle on a shoe, the garnish on well prepared food, the twist on the stem of a wine glass, a touch of colour or fragrance, a detail that tips the balance towards “I like”. An interesting building will always remain an eye-catcher, but give it a unique detail and it will turn heads and fix gazes. The detail in the case of the Al Hitmi building in Doa, Qatar is nothing less than the largest glass chandelier in the world, which stretches practically the entire length of the atrium.

The Al Hitmi building designed by Norr Group Consultants International Limited, is unique. Its form is unusual, its presence friendly but dominant, and it oozes selfconfidence.
The first impression you have of the Al Hitmi development is that it does not look natural for an architectural structure. Two inclined office blocks appear to be stretching away from one another, creating a tentative “V” shape. During a trip to Canada, the client, a visionary man by the name of Hitmi Al Hitmi, was struck by two outcrops of rocks. The design of the complex stems from that observation of a very natural setting. The rocks became the inspiration for the building´s signature crag-like architecture. Now, if you are mimicking nature in the form of two steep crags, the only thing that is missing is the river that runs between them. Enter Beau McClellan and team. The brief from the client was to create something that would fill the Al Hitmi complex while responding to the spatial demands of the building. The sculpture that Beau McClellan was commissioned to design and build had to look as if it had been designed there from the start. It had to work effortlessly within the space.
“The main buildings lean away from the centre, and I thought it would be stunning if my sculpture appeared to be pulling the two buildings together in the opposite direction, helping to keep them from falling over,” Beau McClellan explains. He had six weeks to come up with a design. Once the design had been confirmed it took two years to complete the detailed technical design and to construct the chandelier, which was given the apt name of Reflective Flow… […]

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 79.

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