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Realization of three monumental paintings integrated into architecture.

Posted on: 05 Dec 2013

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Architects: Claude Strebelle and Thierry Drèze, Architecture Atelier of Sart Tilman.
Visual Artist: Michel Leonardi.
Mission: Harmonization of the choices of the different materials, floors, walls, ceilings. Development of new flooring linoleum with the laboratories of the company Forbo-Kromenie. Development of elevators (interior coverings and coloured lighting).

© Michel Leonardi

Project description:
The concept of ​​the whole interior is determined by the architect’s wish to concentrate on quality materials, solid wood and natural stone as well as the colour “white”. Not creating a "hierarchy", all spaces being treated with the same attention and the same materials, whatever the status or function of the users. Therefore, we have chosen to use colour only in the transition areas: the north and the south entrance halls of the building as well as on the ceiling of the restaurant.

The position of the coloured surfaces in the building, their shapes and the rhythms they create, are the result of a desire to be fully integrated into the architecture and to propose differing perceptions according to the various possible perspectives available. It is a purely artistic reflection in constant dialogue with the built sites.

When entering, we first see a “framed” fragment of the large painting in the North Hall. Thereafter the painting completely opens up to our view in a frontal as well as a lateral way, depending on the direction of movement and the floor level from where the painting is discovered. Perceptions are multiple and complex to describe. The coloured surfaces intersect and cross each other because they are located in different perpendicular planes.

© Michel Leonardi

The general composition in this hall refers to the Penal Code. Its title is "Codex". The development of colours occurred in two phases: first, in painted models, using pure pigment milled in acrylic binders and after, by validation of the colour choice using the NCS references and NCS colour samples. This ensures the absolute respect of the colour choice and their matching.

© Michel Leonardi

© Michel Leonardi

In the South Hall, the position of the paint determines that it is not seen when entering, but especially when leaving places. Some coloured items, glasses, coloured stripes, the radiation of the coloured light from the elevators in the room, when their doors open, lighting up the interior spaces connecting the various activities together. The large vertical stripes evoke or refer to trades, to their "symbols”, because we are in the Commercial Court. On the ceiling of the restaurant, the colour is put in "flashes" outside the field of vision. It accompanies the radiant movement of the ceiling volume, punctuating it with flashes of vivid or gentler colour. We were also able to manage the steps of this realization by using the NCS design tools.

© Michel Leonardi

© Michel Leonardi

Michel Leonardi

Interior designer & Professor @ Ecole Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc Liège

Michel Leonardi

Visual artist. Lithographer. Interior designer. Founding partner of an architectural workshop. Colour consultant and designer on projects of private and public developments. Professor at the Higher School of Arts Saint-Luc Liège.

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