Situated on the open-air Level 72 Skydeck, the space has been designed so as to transport visitors to their own romantic winter wonderland. It features theatrical ice-crystals, gem-studded snow domes, glowing crystal benches and a touch-responsive iridescent grotto, while beating lights represent the force of human connection.
The multi-sensory experience also offers specially created scents that hang in the air, meanwhile Dom James has been enlisted to created a romance-inducing soundscape.
Special treats developed by Bompas & Parr are available for purchase within the space, including Snow White Hot Chocolate, Mulled Champagne Cocktail and A Cloud on a Stick, which comprises spice cinnamon, clove and orange candyfloss.
The duo arrived at the creation by asking top academics to share their insights in response to the question: ‘Can setting architecture and design be used to provoke a romantic response?’
Each design decision considered these findings, and each has been made with reference to the five main principles of romance, as defined by Richard J Williams, professor of contemporary visual culture at the University of Edinburgh.
- A sense of enclosure;
- Within that enclosure, an arrangement that makes attention to the other inevitable, and irresistible;
- Furnishings that draw attention to the senses;
- A sense of display, so the lovers are shown off to their best effect to each other, as well as to us, looking at them;
- A sense of exterior threat.
Sam Bompas, director at Bompas & Parr said: "We are delighted to unveil The Shard as the most romantic place in the world. By combining adventure, risk and of course crystals we have created an installation whereby everyone can dream and connect with each other against the romantic canvas of winter wonder."
Williams added: "There are few things so reliable at producing the frisson essential to romance as the view from a tall building. The View from The Shard is crucial here: it alone activates many of the feelings we associate with romance.
"There has to be a sensuousness about the place, activating touch, or taste, or smell as well as sight and hearing. And there has to be – somewhere, however slight – a sense of danger that throws two people upon each other for safety."
The installation will remain in situ until 31 January.
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