Location | Paris
Date | 2013
Client | Musée du quai Branly
Design | AJN – Ateliers Jean Nouvel– Atelier Ferrarini

The contemporary organic inspiration of design and architecture has recently led the research towards the creation of geometries with double curves. This trend has helped Devoto develop and increase its knowledge of production techniques and has enriched its know-how for the management of complex geometries.

The work realized in the foyer of the Museum Quai Branly in Paris, the well-known masterpiece by AJN Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is a case study for the use of traditional materials like timber that can be double-curved and then shaped on contemporary materials like Solid Surface.

The core of the project is a big curve-lined seat, that originates from the access staircase of the foyer where the ticket office is, leading to the upper floor of the museum, where the exhibition path starts. The volume is generated by a deformation of the external surface of the staircase that, bending, creates a niche with an organic shape on the inside, where the bench gradually stretches and goes on.

This seat was made with 100 slats of vacuum-shaped oak wood: every slat is 12 mm thick and has a different shape, because the volume increases progressively and discontinuously. The Corian®was vacuum-formed with a membrane press directly on the wooden substructure.
To complete the staircase, Devoto realized a reproduction in Corian®of the original banister with a curvilinear plan, using CNC machines and a tridimensional program.

Photo credit: courtesy of Atelier Ferrarini