Crystal chandeliers are so bougie. If you’ve got money, why go for hackneyed over making a really, really big statement? That’s probably what an adventurous Munich couple thought when they commissioned the German lighting master Ingo Maurer to whip up something special to hang in their 19th-century dining room, formerly a private chapel. What they got was Biotope—a 12-foot-long topiary-like sculpture, lit up with LEDs and teeming with fake butterflies. Now, that’s a chandelier.
You may not know the name of Ingo Maurer, the celebrated German lighting designer, but you probably know his work. If you’ve ever been to New York at Christmas, and seen the UNICEF crystal snowflake that hangs at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, you’ve seen his artistry. If you’ve ever been charmed by a lamp that consisted of little more than a light bulb with angel wings, you’ve been captivated by his imagination.