It's Not Just for Countertops
Solid surface materials, such as Corian, Krion and LG's Hi-Macs, have been used as countertops since 1971 when DuPont first introduced the “space age” material at the National Association of Home Builders meeting in Houston, Texas. Inventive designers over the years have found many unique uses for solid surface and are implementing them in their projects. Below are five looks at solid surface rising to the occasion, stretching it’s wings, and becoming more than just a solid sheet of material.
As a Picture. Check out the butterfly image behind the check-in desks at the Westin Hotel in Chicago. Omega completed this project at the end of 2016. Utilizing Corian® Solid Surface and Acrylic materials, OAP manufactured (5) custom illuminated imagery panels turning a photograph into beautiful 3D images. This masterpiece is located at the Chicago, Illinois Westin Hotel’s check-in counter.
As a Sculpture. The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital opened its doors in Nov. 2016 and one of its many prominent features is a set of 6 Wind Vane Towering Sculptures and 6 Shadow Boxes with Vitrine Frames. Designed by artist Larry Kirkland and Managed by John Grant, Omega fabricated the blocks and vitrine frames out of Corian® Solid Surface and our mastery of colored resin inlay.Each Tower represents two Iowa Communities, with resin inlayed graphics reflecting aspects of a place, event, industry or natural area in a colorful and whimsical fashion. After completion of the blocks, the towers were assembled by others with a mechanically rotating decorative wind vane on top to complete these beautiful towers.
As a Birdhouse. Who doesn't love a birdhouse?! In ZGF's award-winning design for Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland, OR, designing and then implementing these colorful and playful elements was a part of the cheery concept. The birdhouses were manufactured from DuPont™ Corian® solid surface material, with graphics printed directly to the surface.
As Office Furniture Panels. Solid surface panels are perfect for healthcare applications due to the hygienic properties of the material and can machined with patterns to add texture and visual interest or dye sublimated for added color and graphics. The can be easily customized to fit mounting points in all popular healthcare furnishing systems, such as Herman-Miller, giving designers more options. In this photo, the Corian is machined with a pattern in the surface and then thermoformed after.
As Eye-Catching Tables. Okay, so this could be argued that it’s like a countertop but when solid surface is heated, twisted and curved the way the Slo-Gen Table was, you have to admit it’s still a pretty innovative use of the material. This example has also earned a spot on this list because it raised the bar for reception stations and communal gathering points to follow and is still influencing designers years later. Slo-Gen, made from LG Hi-Macs, is in the main reception of Gensler’s LA offices.