Treivas Architecture Buro

Crystal Objects ‘Four Seasons’


A crystal series by Treivas Architecture Bureau and B.Lab business lab

Our modus operandi is built on attention to artisan work as well as contemporary rethinking of traditional crafts. We have been working with crystal glass for a long time — we are attracted by its plastic qualities, rich history and alchemy, even magic, that surrounds every step of its production.

Сrystal glass used be a symbol of wealth as well as pettiness: people used to queue for hours to get hold of the precious pieces. Now younger generation avoids buying crystal because of these associations: they’d rather use simple glasses from mass-market. In this series we have tried to channel the sentimental childhood memories, when shiny crystal ware used to symbolize holidays and magic.

We believe that crystal is about to begin the new life, getting back into our houses. Crystal archives that so many families have been piling up in their cupboards are about to be in use again — now is the best time.

A series of vases ‘Four Seasons’ is the epitome of brutalist architecture – we call it ‘crystal brutalism’. We bring up the overlooked properties of the material defining the hardness of crystal instead of its traditional fragility and elegance.

These objects enclose the missed impressions of global pandemics when we couldn’t fully experience the change of seasons — so let’s try to relive them.


‘Four Seasons’ series is exhibited at Moscow Design Museum’s show ‘History of Russian design: The Selection. 1917–2022’ at the State Tretyakov Gallery

Spring is prickle but gentle, one of the most elusive pieces of the series. The image of this vase changes with every angle. Petals cut on the walls can be a recollection of a snowstorm or a premonition of a cherry blossom shower. Closer to the neck of the vase the petals transform into large flowers — despite all the uncertainty, spring always wins.

Seven rows of lenses cover the ‘Summer’ vase — each lens is crafted individually. The lenses multiply the pattern of rising suns. We wish they could do the same with summer days: the longest awaited and the most quickly passing of all.

Laconic ‘Autumn’ reminds of Japanese poetry — expressiveness of a pattern is more important than its abundance. Meditative design of falling leaves transforms into a windflaw, further defining the bend of an object.

Covered with starry frost, ‘Winter’ combines the elegance of a snowflake and frailty of ice. Matte diamond fringes cross randomly creating the effect of a thick frosty pattern embracing the glossy surface of the vase.

The angled basement and combination of different techniques of crystal processing express the transition from one state of nature to another. This fluidity brings the element of surprise to the otherwise classic shape of the vase: a charming and compelling imperfection.

Project authors