Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A), based in London, has won the ‘Interiors and Fit-Out Prize’, awarded at World Architecture Festival 2009 (WAF) for the first time. The win is for the ‘DuPont CORIAN Super-Surfaces Showroom‘ in Milan.
‘CORIAN Super-Surfaces’ is the exhibition that DuPont CORIAN and Amanda Levete Architects are creating for the 2009 edition of the Milan Week of Design. A conceptual interpretation of the lounge environment as a dynamic space of transition between neutral and active states, ‘CORIAN Super-Surfaces’ is a frozen moment within a dynamic sequence of transformations which morph DuPont CORIAN into a fluid and elastic collection of integrated kitchen, bathroom and flooring concepts highlighted by an astonishing feature wall.’
Carefully crafted by the unique design vision of AL_A, this sculptural interpretation of the lounge environment showcases the amazing material performance of DuPont CORIAN and highlights its inherent ability to modify perceptions of space and form.
The jury, chaired by Lorenzo Apicella, wrote: ‘What made this project exceptional is that it methodically explored a familiar material that is loved, but perhaps not fully understood by most designers that use it,’
‘Here the architect has pushed the boundaries of what this material can do in both form and structure. In many ways they have recast the possibilities CORIAN affords the designer. We see CORIAN as a poetic and sensual material as much as a practical and utilitarian one.
‘This is the designer as inventor, craftsman and scenographer. They have made a beautiful and complex space without the feeling that a material has been misused. For an environment made entirely of a composite it feels both light and natural. Lighting was made integral to the displays, animating both space and product. Colour was also used expressively, woven into walls, shelves, tables and seating to create a sensuous interior envelope.
‘Transforming standard existing panel products, the architect has demonstrated how to achieve a visually rich space with an economy of material and means.’
About the CORIAN Super-Surface:
‘Created for the 2009 Milan Design Week, Amanda Levete Architects’ ‘CORIAN Super-Surfaces’ is both a demonstration of the versatility of the material and a usable space for multiple contexts.
CORIAN is a solid surface material with excellent long-term performance, used both in the home and in many different commercial environments, from hotels to healthcare, retail to marine. It can be carved, routed or worked like wood, moulded, thermoformed or inlayed, and lends itself to imaginative uses, innovative designs and enduring applications. It is a sheet material, and for this project AL_A wanted to be true to its inherent qualities – moving away from more typical CORIAN installations where the material is expressed as a monolithic solid. We have articulated CORIAN as a collection of dynamic surfaces. More than just an expression of the material, the surface transformations push the technical possibilities of DuPont CORIAN by exploiting its pliability and using the twisted geometry of the sheets to bring structural integrity.
A drop of water creating a series of ripples became the metaphor for transforming space through movement. Just as the ripple causes intricate moiré patterns in water, ‘CORIAN Super-Surfaces’ is about revealing the moment of change through visual complexity, creating dynamic kinetic effects.
Moving through the space appears to animate it. Views are revealed and concealed as the surfaces transition between active and passive states creating countertops, display shelving, seating and a partition that seamlessly morphs from solid to transparent.
The project embodies opposites; simple yet complex, solid yet apparently kinetic, sculptural though not monolithic. The voids between the surfaces become as essential as the form and structure itself. Revealing the physical presence of the void creates maximum visual input with minimum means.
More than just an expression of the material, the surface transformations push the technical possibilities of DuPont CORIAN by exploiting its pliability and using the twisted geometry of the sheets to bring structural integrity. Advanced digital technology was used as part of the process for generating the design as well as for the fabrication of the installation.’