Here is what Nouvel has to say about the project:
“Corian® Nouvel Lumières” in the words of Jean Nouvel
I have always seen Corian® as a material that symbolizes total abstraction – the materialisation of an “absence” that is difficult to construct. How do you make an absence present? That is the difficult and eternal question for an architect who wants to keep the poetry of the design while making it a reality. This is the main reason why I was passionate about the proposition of designing a space in Corian® that talked about light.
For the “Corian® Nouvel Lumières project”, I have attempted to reveal domestic atmospheres linked with the skin of Corian® and with this diffusing, intriguing power that gives the material different degrees of translucency.
I also wanted to play with the contrast between the monolithic look of Corian® – made possible by the material’s apparent seamlessness – and the sense of refinement that is contained in its mass. This is a very mysterious dimension of the material. I reveal it by playing with back-lighting, with bas-relief engraving, and with the abstraction of patterns interacting with the attraction of luminescence. It is also a question of revealing the ultra-smooth character of the skin of Corian® and making shadows and light reflections play on the surface with a surprising sweetness.
In addition, I decided to evoke atmospheres linked to the different components of the house: kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, library…
The kitchen is a game based on the identification of the objects present in the cupboard, in contrast with the sharp luminous rectangles that outline the countertops and the functional areas with precision and intensity. The table of the dining room becomes a sweet diffuser which enlightens the hosts like spotlights on the stage: this table is on a hard carpet made with Corian® of different colours, composed of modules authorising us to imagine our own abstraction; a moon-sun appears or disappears in the living room; on another wall, a carving of an urban profile appears, light carved in the thickness of the mass; in the bathroom, the caustic effect of the framework of light on the water’s surface irradiates the satiny walls…
With its continuous quality on the walls and floors, and its ability to encompass programmable light ambiances, Corian® will be the cause of a sensitive transformation of many apartments and offices, re-thinking and re-organizing their interiors.
Purity, precision, integration of artistic designs.. This is the conviction that shapes the space of “Corian® Nouvel Lumières”, and its “raison d’être” of existing beyond the pleasure that I have attempted to manipulate into this material of illusion.
See all dezeen’s coverage of Milan 2007 here