Jimmy Millar

January 21, 2021

Fabricating Courtauld Connects with Jimmy Millar, Head of Production

Jimmy, Our Head of Production explains the various fabricating techniques that went into the Courtauld Connects project.

The Blavatnik Fine Rooms at The Courtauld Gallery Photo © David Levene

The Courtauld Connect design makes the most of some incredible materials. Producing it required a great deal of precision and delicacy in fabrication. The predominant material here was Corian. 

Corian is a fantastic material that produces a really high finish that lasts, when done correctly! Nissen Richards Studio chose a couple of varieties of Corian that they wanted to implement into a seamless design for their plinths and panels. This requires different techniques in joining to achieve a seamless finish. We utilised an approach of very particular rebates within butt joints on edges and corners, allowing the aggregate or pattern within the Corian to stay consistent, giving the appearance of one solid surface. We also developed an 'S' join technique when joining flat surfaces together. You can see this in the reception desk, or more to the point you can't. It was very effective.

The Courtauld Gallery 2021, © Gareth Gardner

​​Another technique that we had implemented before, on previous projects, but not in the quantities as we had to tackle in Courtauld Connects, was wax filling into Corian panels. These were manufactured on our CNC machine to etch the lettering into panels, and handed to our finishing department to have hot wax poured into the rebates. This is then followed by a lengthy process of sanding to a polished finish. The end product is very clean and crisp.

The Courtauld Gallery 2021 © Gareth Gardner

Some other fabrication techniques to highlight in this project are the oak shelves, where we decided to mill 'L' shaped shelves from a solid piece of oak to add strength and keep the grains continuous. Also, the gallery signage utilised a number of techniques to achieve the floating lettering appearance. This began with cutting out aluminium letters on our CNC, followed by powder coating and applying patina for the brass lettering. To accurately mount the letters on the wall onsite, templates were used, along with smaller backing letters to achieve a floating appearance.

Jimmy Millar

Head of Production at Factory Settings
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