Blurring the line between art and landscape has been a CAO PERROT leitmotiv for over a decade. This singular approach – making places for dreaming – has resulted in a diverse portfolio, which includes intimate gardens, public art installations, special events, and park design. CAO PERROT has just completed the 7.5 hectare Expansion of Swarovski Kristallwelten, and introduced their latest installation, a monumental Crystal Cloud at Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria.
Relevant past works include invitations to create gardens and public art installations at contemporary and historic sites: Pollen Garden at Versailles-Potager du Roi; Mimosa art installation in the Medici Fountain (Luxembourg Garden, Paris); Aerial Garden at the Tuileries Garden (Paris); and Cloud Terrace at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, DC). In 2009, CAO PERROT won first place in an international design competition for Guangming Central Park (240 hectares), Shenzhen, China.
A hands-on artisanal approach frequently requires extended stays at a particular location allowing an intimate connection to the site. This gives CAO PERROT the privilege of working side-by-side with their crew from the beginning of a project to its completion.
Formally trained as landscape architects, but practicing as landscape artists, Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot embrace serendipity, trusting intuition as their guide. They juxtapose the landscape medium of sculpted earth and planting palettes with unexpected materials: recycled glass, mother-of-pearl, crystals, fishing line, etc. These materials come to life in outdoor settings, releasing or refracting light, elevating the inherent imperfections as beauty marks.
Less about form, shape, and meaning, CAO PERROT’s work emphasizes the making. They wish to go beyond design and trends, inviting viewers into a dream environment. For Cao and Perrot, the ultimate luxury is to be immersed in the presence of light and silence, and to echo John Updike, “give the mundane its beautiful due”.
SWAROVSKI KRISTALLWELTEN EXPANSION (Wattens, Austria)
Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) opened in 1995 at company headquarters in the Tyrolean Alps, marking the centennial of the company’s founding. Multimedia artist André Heller created a magical place that has been discovered by over twelve million visitors worldwide. His thematic centerpiece was the mythical story of a Giant who sets out to experience the world of crystals, its mysteries and wonders.
In May 2015, Crystal Worlds ushered in a new era marking Swarovski’s 120th anniversary with the commissioning of landscape artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot (CAO PERROT) to create a Garden of the Giant, including a new master plan (expanded from 3.5 hectares to 7.5 hectares), and a monumental art installation, the Crystal Cloud.
The Client’s brief was “dream away”, a liberating directive that nonetheless included broadening the brand experience and demonstrating Swarovski’s century long commitment to creativity and innovation.
Crowning feature of the new garden is the Crystal Cloud covering 1,400 square meters that drifts above a black mirror pool. The Cloud is made of hand-sculpted wire mesh and adorned with 800,000 Swarovski crystals.
Entering a white birch forest, paths of floral swirls carry visitors to the gate of the Garden of the Giant, welcoming them to the enchanted world of Swarovski Kristallwelten. Rings of sculpted-earth ripples play with one’s sense of proportion like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput. Through the forest’s dappled light, shimmering crystal clouds guide visitors to a mirror pool where the dark water holds reflections of a million silent stars. Trails of twinkling fireflies guard a descent into the enveloping pool. When the Foehn wind calls, the clouds release a dazzling display of rainbow prisms, a fleeting glimpse of crystal secrets hidden in the light and silence.
SELECTED PROJECTS (1998-2015)
SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL WORLDS_Wattens, Austria (2015) press release - video preview - reportage
ANTI-CANCER PLANTS GARDEN_Abbey of Daoulas, Brittany, France (on-going)
QATAR WEDDING_Trees and stage installations_Doha, Qatar video
ROYAL WEDDING_Crystal Cloud Installation_Dubai, United Arab Emirates video - article
CONFETTI CLOUD_Bow Lake Recycling and Transfer Station. Seattle, Washington
WHITE DOME_Beauvais, France NPR
RED BOWL_Beauvais, France NPR - article
CLOUD TERRACE_Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC video - NPR - article
POLLEN GARDEN_Potager du Roi, Versailles, France
POLLEN GARDEN_Château de la Bourdaisière, Montlouis-sur-Loire, France
RED LANTERN_Cornerstone Festival of Gardens. Sonoma, California
BAI YUN_Cornerstone Festival of Gardens. Sonoma, California
WILLOW TREE_Grand Prairie Central Park, Texas
PILLOW FIELD_White Center, Washington
AERIAL GARDEN FOR LAURENT-PERRIER_Tuileries Garden. Paris, France video
MALIBU CLOUD_Malibu, California
CLOUD CHANDELIER FOR KENZO_Paris, France
GUANGMING NEW TOWN CENTRAL PARK_Shenzhen, China
JARDIN DES HESPÉRIDES_Metis International Garden Festival. Quebec, Canada
LOVER'S LANE_Luxembourg Gardens. Paris, France
LULLABY GARDEN_Cornerstone Festival of Gardens. Sonoma, California
JARDIN K_Brittany, France
COCOONS_Emeryville, Bay of San Francisco, California
RED BOX_American Academy in Rome. Italy
CHATEAU MARMONT HOTEL_Hollywood, California
THE STANDARD HOTELS: HOLLYWOOD & DOWNTOWN LA_Los Angeles, California
DESERT SEA_Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival, France
GLASS GARDEN_Los Angeles, California article
"IN THE GARDEN – living spaces between desire and experiment"_Linz, Austria
"NAJAP 2007-08"_Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris, France
"DESIGN LIFE NOW" 2006 National Triennial Design Exhibition_Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York
"THE MISSING PEACE: The Dalai Lama Portrait Project"_Travelling exhibition
Cornerstone Gardens_Sonoma, California
Metis International Garden Festival_Quebec
Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival_France
TOPOS MAGAZINE_"Building Clouds Swarovski Kristallwelten Wattens" by Peter Zöch_issue #91-2015_D
METROPOLIS MAGAZINE_"New Talent" by Guy Horton_10.2014_USA article
MY MODERN MET_"Unbelievable Wedding Sky..." by Alice Yoo_09.2014_USA article
ARCHITECT_"Next Progressives: Andy Cao & Xavier Perrot_08.2013_USA article
ARCHITECTURAL LEAGUE OF NEW YORK_"Emerging Voice 2013"_03.2013_USA article
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS_"CaoPerrot's Cherry Blossoms"_by Jared Green_09.2012_USA article
MY MODERN MET_"Beautiful Red Bowl Honors Lepers in Medieval Times"_08.2012_USA article
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE_"Glass Act" by Bradford McKee_06.2012_USA article
MY MODERN MET_"The 10,000 Swarovski Crystal Cloud" by Alice Yoo_04.2012_USA article
GARDEN DESIGN MAGAZINE_"One to Watch" by Joanna Fortnam_04.2010_UK article
PROPRIETES DE FRANCE_"C ao et Perrot, Designers de Jardins, Sculpteurs de Paysages"_09.2008_FR article
ARCHITECTURES A VIVRE_"Les Eclats de Couleurs de Cao et Perrot" by Caroline de Sade_11.2006_FR article
HOUSE & GARDEN MAGAZINE_"Recycled Memories" by Deborah Needleman_03. 1999_USA article
DESIGN LIFE NOW 2006 NATIONAL TRIENNIAL DESIGN EXHIBITION_by Brooke Hodge_USA text
60 INNOVATORS SHAPING OUR CREATIVE FUTURE_Thames & Hudson_UK
AVANT GARDENERS: 50 VISIONARIES OF THE CONTEMPORARY LANDSCAPE_Tim Richardson_Thames_UK
PRIVATE PARADISE: CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN GARDENS_Charlotte M. Frieze_Monacelli Press_USA
ART IN ACTION: NATURE, CREATIVITY AND OUR COLLECTIVE FUTURE_Curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg_Natural World Museum_USA
IN SEARCH OF PARADISE: GREAT GARDENS OF THE WORLD_Penelope Hobhouse_USA
THE NEW GARDEN PARADISE: GREAT PRIVATE GARDENS OF THE WORLD_Dominique Browning & the Editors of House & Garden_USA
THE MISSING PEACE: ARTISTS & THE DALAI-LAMA_Committee of 100 for Tibet & The Dalai Lama Foundation_Curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg_Earth Aware Editions_USA
HYBRIDS: RESHAPING THE CONTEMPORARY GARDEN IN METIS_Lesley Johnstone_Simply Read Books_Canada
REINVENTING THE GARDEN: CHAUMONT-GLOBAL INSPIRATIONS FROM THE LOIRE_Louisa Jones_Thames & Hudson_UK
THE GARDEN BOOK_Editors of Phaidon Press_Phaidon_UK
AUGENWEIDE - DER GARTEN_Andre Heller, Julia Kospach_Germany
GARDENS FOR THE FUTURE_Guy Cooper & Gordon Taylor_UK
POCKET GARDENS_James Grayson Trulove_William Morrow_US
THE NEW TECH GARDEN_Paul Cooper_Mitchell Beazley_UK
CAO PERROT’s work has been widely published, and exhibited at international garden festivals and museums, including 2006 Design Life Now: National Design Triennial at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York. The Architectural League of New York named Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot as "Emerging Voices 2013".
Landscape artist Andy Cao is based in Los Angeles. Andy was a recipient of the Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome (2002), and the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (2011). Andy attended University of Houston College of Architecture and received a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He has taught landscape design at USC School of Architecture, and Cal Poly Pomona.
Landscape artist Xavier Perrot is based in Brittany, France. He studied landscape design at Saint-Ilan School in Brittany, and the Conservatoire International des Parcs et Jardins et du Paysage in Chaumont-sur-Loire. In 2008, Xavier was awarded the “Lauréats des Nouveaux Albums des Jeunes Architectes et Paysagistes” (Emerging Young Architects and Landscape Architects Award) by the French Ministry of Culture.
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