Jean Nouvel Corian Kitchen

New to a kitchen and not sure where to locate which dishes? No worries: this clever custom kitchen cabinet system will light your way to the right serving bowls, plates, utensils and gadgets, showing their forms as shadows directly on the doors of these cabinets.

Jean Nouvel Corian Kitchen sink and counter

Ever the hybrid architect, artist and minimalist designer, Jean Nouvel has accomplished a great deal with this design idea – the find-anything functionality of see-through cabinetry, the animated and ever-changing artistry of light and dark shapes and the naturally and of course the built-in lighting itself that can illuminate the kitchen background while you cook.

Open Corian Kitchen cabinet doors

The components are surprisingly simple, cheap and low-tech considering the complex effects: standard translucent white panels and aluminum hinges on the cabinets combined with conventional lamps along the back wall behind the objects they store.

Jean Nouvel Corian Kitchen wall organization

While their creator makes no explicit mention of this fact, there is an uncanny resemblance between this design and the way x-rays look when hung on the light-panels hanging on the walls of a doctor office. While the look is modern (which often implies expensive), local designers and do-it-yourself-ers could buy the components quite easily at wholesale prices for building a similar project.

Jean Nouvel Corian Kitchen faucet fixtureJean Nouvel Corian Kitchen faucet fixture

“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.”

Jean Nouvel Corian Kitchen silhouette

“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.”