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Architect Pierre Fakhoury designs an innovative skin in DuPont Corian for the Palais des Congres in Abidja

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Architectural innovation comes to Africa
The largest ever external cladding project based on DuPontTM Corian

April 2009 - Architectural innovation comes to Africa. Built 40 years ago, the Palais des Congrès of the Hôtel Ivoire in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) is being renovated to incorporate innovative architectural traits, in terms of materials and technologies. The whole façade (over 7 700 square meters) of the Palais des Congrès will be made with special, customized panels in DuPontTM Corian® high performance surfacing material selected for both its aesthetic and functional properties. The panels in DuPontTM Corian® feature a complex three-dimensional decorative pattern (reproducing the relief motif of the original façade in ceramic tiles) applied via advanced computer-controlled and forming machines. 

-The Palais des Congrès (Abidjan) before the renovation-

This project is the largest ever external cladding project based on DuPontTM Corian and one of the largest commercial projects ever developed since the invention of DuPontTM Corian.

"The design challenge was to reproduce the sandstone tiles looking like African bas-relief without changing the overall look of the façade, ensuring continuity with the initial architecture. I have been charmed by the modernity, the flexibility, the sensorial qualities and the technical capabilities of DuPontTM Corian," says architect Pierre Fakhoury.

With its 750 rooms, conference facilities and leisure equipments, the building complex of the Ivory Hotel with its futuristic and sober architecture, is one of the most important hotel facilities in Africa. The complete renovation of the buildings is expected to be finished around the end of 2010. Neighboring the Ivory Hotel, the Palais des Congrès intended for colloquiums, seminars or other meetings, is an integral part of the complex. 

-Beginning of the external cladding of the Palais des Congrès-


The French firm Crea Diffusion, one of the most experienced and advanced companies worldwide in the fabrication of DuPontTM Corian®, has been involved in this project since the very beginning, developing prototypes of 3D panels in its manufacturing site located in Solognes, France. 

Made in different colours of DuPontTM Corian and assembled with dilatation seams, the prototypes have gone through a tough and specific testing programme which lasted several months and included the direct exposure to weathering agents in outdoor environments. At the end of this testing programme, Architect Pierre Fakhoury selected the Cameo White colour of DuPontTM Corian for the panels. The three-dimensional-patterned panels DuPontTM Corian began to be fabricated at the end of 2008 in a new factory of Crea Diffusion. The first panels have been installed in December 2008 and the façade should be completed in June 2009 (once the project is completed, a press kit including more information on the project and photos of the renovated façade of the Palais des Congrès, will be developed).

Anne-Line Citerne of DuPont Building Innovations (coordinating the development of external cladding applications of DuPontTM Corian in Europe, Middle East and Africa) acted as project manager on behalf of DuPont, bringing to this project the global expertise of DuPont in materials science and technology.

About Pierre Fakhoury - Pierre Fakhoury graduated at the School of Architecture at Tournai, Belgium. His notable work includes the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast. Since 1983, Fakhoury has been involved in the relocation of the
capital of Ivory Coast from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro. 

 

About DuPontTM Corian - An exclusive product of DuPont, DuPontTM Corian (www.corian.com) is used in a wide range of applications in segments as varied as hospitality, healthcare, catering, publics spaces and retail, as well as in home furnishing, furniture, lighting and decorative objects. It is a non-porous solid surface material that is stain-resistant, easy to clean, durable, renewable and repairable. Available in about 100 standard colours, DuPontTM Corian solid surfaces can be shaped into virtually any conceivable design.

About DuPont - DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation. An overview of the global offer of DuPont for architecture, interior design and construction is available at <www.buildingonscience.dupont.com>.