French architect Jean Nouvel partnered with Swedish flooring company, Bolon, to create a gravity defying installation at the 2012 Stockholm Furniture Fair this February.
Nouvel’s installation at the fair featured an enclosed stand, with all four surfaces clad in Bolon’s new Create flooring collection. The project explored the textural qualities of Bolon’s collection, with flooring running up the walls and onto the ceiling – a concept that Nouvel said “challenges gravity as well as the traditional ideas of flooring”.
The four surfaces of the stand were each clad in different colours of Create flooring. A number of furniture pieces adorned the walls and hung suspended from the ceiling, accompanied by four mannequins depicting Nouvel reclining, sitting and reading in the space. The result was an eye-catching and humorous installation, with Nouvel – the man and mannequin – as the star attraction at Bolon’s stand.
Nouvel collaborated with Bolon to produce the architectural setting for the annual fair in Stockholm, launching the Create collection as well as the flooring company’s new inspiration web tool, a digital design tool for testing ideas and looks for interior settings using the Create range. Having previously partnered with a number of ‘Designer Friends’ over the years including the Campana brothers, Giulio Cappellini, Tom Dixon and Jaime Hayón, Bolon introduced Nouvel as their first ‘Architect Friend’ for the Stockholm collaboration.
Nouvel said of his inspiration for the project: “Imagine the world of a fly where floor expands in every direction, with no up or down… This is Bolon universe, exclusively a universe of floors: no ceiling, no walls… just floors – a palace for flies… This is the Bolon space where I stand, as in my fantastic dreams without gravity.”
Bolon was first established in Sweden in 1949, and is now run by sisters Annica and Marie Eklund – the third generation of Eklunds to own the company. From its beginnings as a manufacturer of woven flooring, today the brand has evolved to become an innovative international flooring brand, with their product used by leading architects and designers around the world. The company is set to unveil another collaborative project at Milan Salone in April 2012 – watch this space.