On a quest to construct the most (scientifically proven) romantic destination in the world, Bompas & Parr asked leading academics to offer their insights on whether setting, architecture and design could be used to provoke a romantic response.
The answers they received have resulted in the space at open-air Level 72, which features theatrical ice-crystals, gem-studded snow dunes, glowing crystal benches and a touch-responsive iridescent grotto where beating lights represent the force of human connection.
The visual and tactile environment was harmonised with other multi-sensory stimulations to truly bring the experience to life.
Edible treats including Snow White Hot Chocolate, Mulled Champagne and Christmas Candy Floss are available to purchase, while Dom James has distilled the essence of romantic music to create a sonic world that makes us reflect on our profound desire to search for a romantic connection with those we love. Design In Scent meanwhile, was responsible for creating the perfect fragrance to set the subconscious cogs in romantic motion.
The scent was designed to evoke a snow-laden moment with love delicately weaving through the air. Citrus top notes of lemon, lime and bergamot convey the sparkling drifts and crystal grotto, while the inclusion of galbanum (an aromatic gum resin), rosemary, green leaf and moss hint at the freshness in the air emitted by greenery frozen in time. A floral heart adds a depth of romance and softness, particularly with the use of rose, and of orange blossom, jasmine and lily of the valley, which are traditional wedding flowers. Base notes of amber, precious woods and musk provide the sensual backdrop of unspoken suggestion. This is a scent that guides the imagination and then sets it free to glide.
Prior to reaching this wonderland however, the sweet and spicy scent of warm gingerbread is waiting to greet visitors as they enter the lifts to truly evoke a sense of festive nostalgia.
Richard J Williams, Professor of Contemporary Visual Culture at University of Edinburgh said: “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 if 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.”
Sam Bompas, Director of 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.”
The installation can be visited until 31 January and is included in the standard admission price.
Tickets can be booked here: http://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/en/tickets-packages/whatson/