Wallpaper* tasked the collaborative team with the construction of a metallic hallway that would run the length of the Hotel Wallpaper* Arcade and serve as a grand entrance to the hotel-themed exhibition.
Utilising Sapa’s cutting-edge, aluminium extrusions technology, the highly complex wall installation – 2,000 aluminium modules and geometric shapes machined for maximum reflectivity – was manufactured over three weeks in California and pieced together on site. Feay’s use of the lightweight material transformed the Milan space, making for a visually arresting and light-catching installation that also featured seating units in the shape of huge Wallpaper* asterisk logos.
Neal Feay has previously used aluminium in the luxury market, creating beautiful shop facades for Louis Vuitton in anodised golden-hued aluminium, while French architect Jean Nouvel has also applied the versatile lightweight metal in a number of his works, from the Institut du Monde Arabe to the recently completed Philharmonie de Paris, which he covered with 290,000 bird-shaped, anodised aluminium tiles in varying shades.
With an HQ in Oslo, Norway, and over 23,500 employees in more than 40 countries, Sapa is the world leader in innovative aluminium. Sapa AS is a joint venture owned equally by Orkla ASA and Hydro ASA, delivering aluminium solutions to a wide variety of businesses; furniture makers, automotive manufacturers, building and construction companies, mass transportation, electronics, offshore and maritime industries.
Aluminium is widely used by industrial designers, who love it for its versatility and the variety of surface treatments possible. A particular feature of the low density, ductile metal is its workable malleability, providing endless creative scope, and costs are relatively low, making bespoke extrusions also suitable for smaller productions. Working closely with Sapa, Jean Nouvel and Neal Feay’s installation used extruded anodised aluminium profiles that introduce the myriad capabilities of this extraordinary metal to the world of art, design and interiors.