The chandelier that hangs over the Grand Staircase is quite the conversation piece. We get asked about it most days and often stumble on guests perched on the stairs trying to get a better look or capture a photo.
The man responsible is award winning artist and designer Beau McClellan. He was commissioned by the fabulous Omey Projects who oversaw all of our art consulting and installation at The Lumiares. Based in the Algarve, Beau has been producing show-stopping light installations for years and enjoys an enviable international reputation.
He is even in the Guinness book of World records for having created the largest chandelier in the World in 2010 – an iconic piece called ‘Reflective Flow’ that incorporates more than 165,000 LED lights and is over 38 metres long!
So, how did Beau come up with the design for the chandelier at The Lumiares? The simple answer is that it is all about the neighbourhood. Bairro Alto has a unique charm that is everything to do with the cobbled alleyways and higgledy piggledgy houses and the way the light plays across the rooftops at different times of the day. Beau wanted to capture that. He spent ages experimenting with different materials and surfaces in a quest to bring that vibrancy to life. The answer lay in brass and a ground breaking approach to etching its surface to create patterns of reflection. The brass was then arranged in the cuboid symmetry of the chandelier to recreate the clusters of houses in the neighbourhood.
While we are talking all things Beau McClellan, I did want to share something else with you. This is a man with many strings to his bow. If you ever meet him you might like to ask about that time when he was a singer-songwriter or a blacksmith, or indeed a stage manager or…well, you get the picture. But the one thing you must absolutely quiz him on is about when he played a lead role in a major film – I kid you not! Check out the film The Right Juice (it’s on iTunes). Beau plays the baddie and is absolutely BRILLIANT!
So the next time when you deliberately skip the lift and take a detour up the Grand Staircase to admire this beautiful and unique chandelier, take a moment to appreciate the creative vision of a truly multifaceted designer – the wonderfully talented Mr Beau McClellan!
Photos by Vasco Celio.