Expressions in glass
When the time came to renovate the reception area of Dr. James Chan's cosmetic surgery clinic in Taipei City, Taiwan, designer Michael Young made the decision to work primarily in a rather unusual new medium: DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative glass technology and Corian® surfaces. Completed in February, the clinic's new space highlights creative thought all around.
Young's team used a design in purple and blue hues by Icelandic artist Katrin Pétursdottir Young as the basis to construct a 95-square-meter floor surface, doors, interior walls, and self-standing partitions made of laminated glass incorporating SentryGlas Expressions technology. Some of the laminated glass walls have a purple color gradient on a mirrored backing.
Various gentle color gradients were tested that would make discreet partitions between different meeting rooms. Mirrors were successfully incorporated into a laminated glass design construction. Heat lamination on mirrors usually results in the mirror film melting but the two materials can now be used in unison, expanding the palette of options for decorative laminated glass for artists and interior designers.
The DuPont surfaces were chosen for their durability, stylishness, and design versatility. SentryGlas Expressions allows designers and artists to harness digital technologies to produce a wide range of decorative glass results, using a proprietary process developed by DuPont that performs inkjet printing directly onto the PVB interlayer of laminated safety glass, resulting in high-quality imagery and design textures, with quick design-to-production times. The variety in Corian Bas-Relief patterns also added texture to an otherwise smooth surface for a strikingly different aesthetic. Corian is non-porous, seamless, and renewable surface and does not promote the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria, making it a solid choice for a healthcare setting.
“We are breaking new design boundaries here! The laminated floor tiles are pretty big [1.5 × 1.5 meters], demanding a massive scale-up of the original artwork,” comments Katrin Pétursdottir Young. “The quality of reproduction of the final product is at very high resolution—300 dpi—even after such a large scale-up.”
Pétursdottir Young's artwork was scanned and blown up to scale. After the files were dispatched to DuPont in the USA, the company printed the PVB and sent samples to a local laminator, Stanley Glass of Taipei, which were approved by Young's design team. Stanley Glass then laminated the glass and cut the floor tiles.
For her part, Pétursdottir Young describes the design as “an organic, flowery piece which fits well into the idea of a beauty clinic. As this is the first time this type of floor has been made, I can almost say that the art work itself became secondary to the process, which was incredibly strenuous, and complicated at times. It took seven months and an army of people to complete it, though now we have created a method. On the other hand the pattern for the Corian panels was easier to carry out as we know the technical process well now. This pattern derives from the idea of the diamond and the precision, care, and beauty of its shaping which can symbolize the profession of the plastic surgeon. It is a geometric pattern which makes a balance with the flowing organic pattern on the floor.”
Alberto Puchetti, lead architect with Michael Young's Taipei office, explains, “We wanted this compact reception area to feel smart, bright, contemporary, and colorful, in contrast with other parts of the clinic like the new state-of-the-art operating theatres that have a traditional white and clinical look. The combination of colorful blues and purples used in Katrin's design for the laminated glass surfaces and a contrasting white Corian Bas-Relief wall works well.”
Michael Young sums up the collaboration this way: “Interior design is something very different to industrial design; one cannot really control it in the same way, so it opens up avenues for a different type of expression, where volumes and colors become very relevant tools. It is for this reason that I feel my collaboration with Katrin is successful. The atmosphere in her artwork represents volume to me and exploration into the super senses. The combination with the space, material application, and the artwork takes us one step beyond what we all acknowledge as tradition and into the unknown. I wanted to use a gigantic painting on the floor to set the atmosphere of a complete fantasy.” HD