Inspiring interiors by Karim Rashid
Naples, the Southern Italian city with the largest historic centre in Europe and dating back to the times of the earliest Romans, has inaugurated the new Università subway station (serving the area of the town where the University of Naples is based), characterized by extremely colorful, expressive and dynamic interiors conceived by New York-based Karim Rashid Studio.
M.N. Metropolitana di Napoli commissioned Atelier Mendini, the Italian architectural and design studio (already author of two important Line 1 subway stations – Salvator Rosa and Materdei), the renovation of Bovio square, while for the subway station architectural concept, the company selected Karim Rashid who chose DuPont™ Corian® techno-surface for a variety of wall cladding applications in four different station levels.
Naples University Metro Station is the first of five new stations integrating the Naples subway line 1 that serves strategic areas of the town and is part of the Art Stations network realized by M.N. Metropolitana di Napoli. [K1] The Art Stations, all conceived by internationally renowned architects, are characterized by functional and wide spaces, and are enriched both in interiors and exteriors, by sculptures, installations and contemporary artworks.
Thousands of passengers every day are now able to quickly reach the academic and multi-cultural area around the “Università” metro station and enjoy the inspiring interiors conceived by Karim Rashid. The mezzanine level of the new subway station in Naples is structured with four black columns clad with DuPont™ Corian® in the Nocturne (black) colour.
All situated close to the gates, two columns show a cylindrical section, while the other columns feature the profiles of huge heads. Nearby, the subway station control center is clad with DuPont™ Corian® in Glacier White colour, thermoformed and invisibly joined to create a massive, flared cylindrical structure.
The chromatic effect of the four black columns and the white control center contrasts dramatically with the lively pop-style graphics on the floor and wall, the dynamic “light cuts” on the ceiling and the high-impact “Synopsis” sculpture and design details by Karim Rashid.
Characterized by the fluid shapes and iconic symbols Karim Rashid, the colours used for the station wall cladding are in signature Karim Rashid pop colours and made with DuPont™ Corian techno-surface.
Integrating its wide chromatic range, DuPont has specifically developed two new tones – lime and pink – of its prestigious high performance surface in order to satisfy the designer’s needs. The overall result is an astonishing, uncommon surrounding for subway stations: curved walls, sculptural columns, vivid colours and graphics confer a strong spatial personality.
The contiguous corridor is delimited by fluidly shaped white walls that delightfully explore at its best the creative flexibility made possible by the cladding in DuPont™ Corian® techno-surface.
The colossal dimensions and length involved (approximately 100 meters), the wall’s irregular and organic curvature and details that were discretely incorporated within, as well as its glossy finish to obtain the maximum result, the complexity of the work required the precise skills of bsolid, a Naples-based company specialized in the fabrication of DuPont™ Corian®. bsolid is part of the “Corian® Quality Network” and is able to create and develop solutions for architecture and interior design fields.
Delicately embracing the environment, these amazing walls create a powerful contrast to the contiguous corridors clad with DuPont™ Corian® in vibrant pink and lime, colours specifically created for this Karim Rashid project.
The whole interior design of the “Università” subway station is conceived to guide travelers on a pathway to knowledge and to stimulate creativity, imagination and reflection.
Beyond aiming at guiding the traveler through the underground space in a fresh and exciting way, all decorative and structural elements of the environment create a link between the pragmatic function of the station and the academic and multi-cultural relevance of the city district.
This ambitious project also exalts the entire potential of DuPont™ Corian®: thanks to its thermoformability and the possibility of creating apparently seamless surfaces, it allows for visual continuity and a superior aesthetic impact, even under extreme structural conditions, as in this case. Its wide range of colours and DuPont’s availability in creating custom-made colours has helped realizing a colourful underground environment full of joy and positive energy.