A love for light and a childhood spent amongst embroidery helped French architect Jean Nouvel shape a new flooring collection for Bolon that plays with lines and dots in a tribute to the art of the 19th century. What I often seek in architecture is...
A love for light and a childhood spent amongst embroidery helped French architect Jean Nouvel shape a new flooring collection for Bolon that plays with lines and dots in a tribute to the art of the 19th century. What I often seek in architecture is textures,” says Jean Nouvel. This interest harks back to the architect’s childhood, when he would watch his maternal grandmother do embroidery in south-west France. It is an idyllic memory and one that seems to play on Nouvel’s mind, finding expression throughout his work. “As a young boy, I would spend entire afternoons with her and she would be pulling on the sewing needle, embroidering initials on all the family linen. The process of hand embroidery is in my memory all the time. On the other side of the family, I had a grandfather who was a weaver. I grew up in a family where texture was written in the genes.” The 2008 laureate of the prestigious Pritzker Prize, Nouvel is France’s best-known architect. He has created the Institut del Monde Arabe, the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, the Musée du Quai Branly and the Philharmonie de Paris, all in Paris, while he has also designed the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the National Museum of Qatar, the National Art Museum of China and the 53W53 luxury residential tower in New York, which will include gallery spaces for MoMA. What unites these projects – which are disparate in form, context and material execution – is a common artistic sensibility for surface design, as well as a desire to play with reflections and light. It is this sensibility that has led to Nouvel’s new collaboration with Bolon, for whom he has devised the company’s first flooring collection to be designed by an architect. The flooring has been conceived with spatiality in mind, giving people the freedom to play with colour and light. “The decomposition of the light into dots is a very important theme,” says Nouvel of the collection, which is characterised by fine lines of small dots loosely inspired by Pointillism, the 19th-century approach to painting pioneered by post-Impressionist artist Georges-Pierre Seurat. Available in a palette of black, grey, red and blue, the flooring has been designed such that the repeat in its pattern is near invisible: it breaks down into a pure expression of colour and pattern that seems to erupt spontaneously. Nouvel, 71, first collaborated with Bolon while working on the Musée du Quai Branly in 2006. “I used their flooring in the offices and found it to be beautiful,” he says. “The nature of the product, technically, is very resistant and works well in busy offices.” The collaboration deepened in 2012, when Marie and Annica Eklund invited Nouvel to create the scenography of their stands at the Stockholm and Milan furniture fairs. Black sculptures of Nouvel lying down and sitting on pieces of furniture were positioned on the floor, the walls and the ceiling of the stands, illustrating how Bolon’s products could be used for mural and ceiling compositions. “I even laid down on the ceiling; I suffered a lot up there,” jokes Nouvel. “We showed the material in all its applications; it was about creating a beautiful skin and a stand that had an identity.”
Bolon by Jean Nouvel Design premiered at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, October 2016 Specialities are;
A true architectural element Seamless appearance to space of any size A sober yet warm colour palette Spatial geometry A floor with three-dimensional visual effects Light reflecting qualities Elliptical yarn Classification 33 Heavy Commercial Guarantee 15 years Features up to 33% recycled material Fulfills all environmental demands Made in Sweden – Scandinavian quality and design