Musée d’Orsay’s bookshop and gift shop re-designed in Corian®

Nicholas Adam creates minimalist feel in keeping with the architecture of the building

The Musée d’Orsay’s bookshop and gift shop have been given a complete overhaul by the architect and designer Nicolas Adam, who has re-evaluated the use of space and the interior design with a focus on purity and simplicity.

Covering an area of 240 m², the bookshop and gift shop form two distinct entities on either side of the hall and are formed from high-tech Corian® solid surface material in Glacier White colour, extending into a glass façade opening on to the entrance hall. The whiteness and flowing design give the area an almost ethereal feel. The structure of the design in Corian® plays an essential part in the success of the whole architectural project.

Nicolas Adam has prioritised light and the sense of the space opening on to the central hall in order to achieve visual continuity and make the most of the building’s original architecture, which was designed by Victor Laloux. This allows the visitor to rediscover the building in its days as a railway station, echoed in the columns, the high ceiling and the vast space.

The furniture and shelving in Corian® (Glacier White colour) enhance the overall design and show off the books and products to their best effect. Nicolas Adam has made the most of the material’s special properties and unique aesthetic: the furniture is modular and all

sharp edges have been rounded to facilitate the flow of traffic in the aisles. The matt appearance and smooth feel provide a comforting, calm environment for customers shopping for a book or souvenir. All wall light fittings are in translucent Corian® (in Ice White colour), providing indirect and natural lighting, and increasing the sense of wellbeing.

Finally, the material’s ease of cleaning and minimal maintenance offers another advantage in a heavy traffic area that requires impeccable hygiene.

Nicolas Adam had already been won over by the material when designing the bookshop (librairie des Princes) at the Château of Versailles, which was constructed by BF PRO (a certified processor in the Corian® Quality Network) for LIN&ART. The Musée d’Orsay design project was created by the same specialist companies, with Corian® again used because of its many advantages.

“The absence of any visible joints gives a smooth, flowing appearance. The same material can be used for the structure and the interior fittings, giving a minimalist feel in keeping with the building’s architecture. Corian® enhances the original architecture while providing the perfect showcase for the products on sale to the public,” explains Nicolas Adam, who is continuing his work with the RMN-GP (Réunion des Musées Nationaux Grand Palais [cultural establishment]).


Outer and inner shell of the bookshop (90m²) and gift shop (90m²), height: 3.5 mm, made from 12 mm Corian® in Glacier White: approx. 450 m² of material.

Fittings (central furniture, windows, beams, doors and drawers) made from 6 mm Corian® in Glacier White: approx. 290m² of material.

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