The Giroux Glass Project that Broke a World Record

largest chocolate fountain in the world— and that record still holds today!

The fountain measures over 26-feet tall and circulates 2-tons, or 4,409-pounds, of chocolate at a rate of 120-quarts per minute. It is displayed at the Jean Philippe Pâtisserie in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s the only Giroux Glass project that holds a world record today; although it is not the only project to win us a different title — “Most Innovative Interior Glass Application.” As the glazing contractor/glass installer of the fountain, Glass Magazine selected us for their Crystal Achievement Award to honor this achievement in glass and chocolate.

Our project manager at the time, Matt Lamb, says the location/placement of the custom glass bowls for the fountain was extremely critical. Each of the individual bowls required precise placement to ensure the chocolate’s proper flow and to maintain an ideal temperature. All of the suspended glass was produced and installed at the manufacturer’s facility outside of Montreal, Quebec. Our Giroux Glass team spent a few days at the Canadian facility to see it assembled there, and to learn how they would accomplish its installation back at the Bellagio Hotel. All materials (e.g., glass, suspension cables, fasteners, and templates) were then disassembled, packaged, and shipped to Las Vegas. Once at its final resting place at the pâtisserie, each glass component was raised and supported by suspension cables attached to the ceiling.

Glass Magazine’s Crystal Achievement Award tells more about the project history and exactly how chocolate flows and cascades through the fountain:

“When the Bellagio Hotel & Casino’s executive pastry chef, Jean-Philippe Maury, agreed to open a pastry shop inside the Las Vegas hotel, he knew just what he wanted as its centerpiece: a chocolate fountain. What he ended up with is a floor-to-ceiling fountain that took about two years to design and implement.

Designed by Norwood and Antonia Oliver of Norwood Oliver Design Associates Inc. in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., the fountain is fed nearly 2 tons of melted dark, milk and white chocolate by six ceiling spouts. The confection is then pumped through 25 suspended slump glass vessels made of 1⁄2-inch thick, rough-hewn aqua glass suspended by anchoring cables. Each vessel—some oblong, some round—was designed by Michel Mailhot at ThinkGlass Inc. in Boisbriand, Quebec, manufacturer of the pieces. From vessel to vessel, the chocolate slides until it disappears into hidden melting tanks, recollected, and pumped back to make its journey again.

A multifaceted wall of 300-pound glass panels, manufactured by Innovative Structural Glass Inc. of Three Rivers, Calif., surround the fountain. The panels rise in a funnel shape as the fountain expands toward the ceiling.

‘Glass maximizes the visibility of chocolate’s color and the effect of the multiple cascades as they flow from vessel to vessel,’ says Norwood Oliver, in a release. ‘Glass also was an ideal medium to take the fountain’s physical presentation to another level—sculpture.'” (Read the complete article, here.)