We all enjoy the sight of a rainbow after rainfall. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience that we don’t get to witness every day, which reminds us of the incredible power of nature. Well, apparently, one doesn’t always have to wait for a thunderstorm to enjoy this colorful phenomenon – sometimes, it’s just a flight away. The Palacio de Cristal is a stunning glass structure in Madrid that was once a used greenhouse to display exotic flowers and plants. However, in 2006, the building was turned into a unique art installation that allowed viewers to be enchanted by a roomful of surreal rainbows.
Originally built in 1887, the Palacio de Cristal, also known as the Glass Palace, is a beloved tourist destination in Madrid. Originally functioning as a plant conservatory, the Crystal Palace is admired as an exquisite example of iron architecture and is currently used to house a variety of cultural exhibitions. One such exhibition was created in 2006 by Korean artist Kimsooja, who turned the old conservatory into a rainbow art installation, allowing visitors to feel less like they were browsing a greenhouse and more like they were entering a fairy tale. Using several techniques to cause light diffraction, such as placing mirrors on the floor and covering the windows with translucent filters, Kimsoohja successfully created the effect of beautiful rainbows filling the room. Needless to say, the result was simply magical.
Apart from the stunning visual, Kimsooja also added a sound effect: his own breathing sounds which were originally from another performance. The combination of this ethereal sound with the sight of hundreds of rainbows created a truly otherworldly experience for lucky visitors. While Kimsooja’s unique installation is no longer available, the Crystal Palace hosts many other artists with their own unique performances.