World’s largest chocolate fountain takes centre stage at Lindt’s new Home of Chocolate
What is believed to be the world’s largest freestanding chocolate fountain will take centre stage at the new Home of Chocolate attraction at Lindt & Sprüngli’s Swiss headquarters in Kilchberg near Zurich, reports Neill Barston.
The Lindt Chocolate Foundation is inviting guests to experience the new multi-million facility, with a tour designed by Atelier Bruckner, enlightening guests about the origins of the sector and production methods that remain a core part of the industry today.
The building was created by local architects Christ & Gantenbein, with the centrepiece of the 1500 square metre exhibition being the world’s highest, free-standing chocolate fountain in the foyer of the museum serves as the prelude to the world of chocolate. It is 9.30 metres high and circulates 1000 litres of liquid chocolate, flowing from a large, hovering wire whip down into a Lindor ball on the ground.
As the business explains, the tour offers a number of visual delights, taking in the sounds, smells and tastes of the industry, media stations and visitor-participation systems allow them to become part of the different scenarios. Designed individually, each exhibition room communicates through the senses and with information to convey an aspect of the world of chocolate.
At first, the visitors travel to a cocoa plantation in Ghana where they learn everything about the cultivation, harvesting, fermentation and drying of cocoa beans – as well as about the quality assurance process.
Furthermore, 5,000 years of chocolate making are placed under the spotlight with a history room featuring a digitally animated 360-degree panorama picture and has a round media table. It shows how the preparation and consumption of chocolate has changed over the centuries.
How Switzerland became the “home of chocolate” is conveyed in the “Swiss Pioneers” room. The first chocolate factory was opened in Vevey as early as 1819. The all-round, hand-painted Swiss panorama is an invitation to make one’s own discoveries.
The subsequent time tunnel “From Past to Present” illustrates the changes in the manufacture and marketing of Swiss chocolate from 1900 until the year 2000. And how does chocolate production function today? Visitors find this out in the “Production” room, which, with its smooth, shiny surfaces, is based on an actual factory. In this room, three chocolate springs, where the different composition of white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate can be tasted are a special attraction – and not only for young visitors.
The darkened adjacent room with the name “Chocolate Cosmos”, which is surrounded by an atmospheric projection of stars, finally places chocolate as a product in a global context before visitors are taken to the “Chocolate Heaven” where they can taste a sample of Lindt products. Large-format Lindor balls supplement the narrative space. They are designed as photo booths.
Finally, the visitors cross a bridge over the foyer of the building to reach the “Innovation Lab”, which opens out towards the light-filled interior. The exhibition architecture takes up the architecture of the building. This area concerns some questions about the future: Can there be chocolate without cocoa trees? How is artificial intelligence changing the production of chocolate? And can chocolate be made in a carbon-neutral manner? As soon as the visitor approaches, the initially opaque glass of the display case becomes transparent and reveals explanatory films and selected exhibits, including a replicated cell culture.
The heart of the “Innovation Lab” is a real testing system, the entire interior of which can be seen. Specialists use this system to develop new chocolate creations. Augmented animation enables an X-ray view into the insides of the machines. The Chocolate Tour ends with a chocolate souvenir: A small bar of chocolate from the testing system, packaged in a golden ball, rolls through a lovingly designed marble run before it falls into the hands of the visitor. For more information, visit www.lindt-home-of-chocolate.com/en/tickets-and-prices/