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February 7, 2011

When people enter Svetlin Krastev and Dessi Nikolova's one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan—featured in our March issue and online here—the first thing they see is the sculptural Corian wall hovering dramatically over the bed. Architect Erich Schoenenberger, of su11 architecture + design, describes it as "kind of a melting design that comes from above and goes down the shelves." Schoenenberger enlisted Associated Fabrication LLC to fabricate the components in their Brooklyn shop, and assemble and install it in the apartment. Here's a behind-the-scenes peek at how it was done.

Here are the filled and vacuum-formed Corian parts of the unit, laid out in Associated Fabrication's workshop prior to assembly. You can spot the MDF molds visible in the background.
Here are the filled and vacuum-formed Corian parts of the unit, laid out in Associated Fabrication's workshop prior to assembly. You can spot the MDF molds visible in the background.
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Here's an assembled section of the shelving unit. The residents embraced Corian as a building material because it's kidproof—any marks can be cleaned easily, and the matte finish resists fingerprints.
Here's an assembled section of the shelving unit. The residents embraced Corian as a building material because it's kidproof—any marks can be cleaned easily, and the matte finish resists fingerprints.
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A closer look at the milled and shaped parts, stacked and ready for assembly.
A closer look at the milled and shaped parts, stacked and ready for assembly.
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Sitting atop the vacuum press table, here's a Corian piece mounted to a piece of MDF.
Sitting atop the vacuum press table, here's a Corian piece mounted to a piece of MDF.
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The shelving sections were assembled using a plywood jig. (That's the vacuum press behind it).
The shelving sections were assembled using a plywood jig. (That's the vacuum press behind it).
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The assembled shelving sections, ready for transport to the apartment.
The assembled shelving sections, ready for transport to the apartment.
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After all the pieces were formed in the workshop, Associated Fabrication moved everything into the apartment. Here are three shelving units ready for assembly.
After all the pieces were formed in the workshop, Associated Fabrication moved everything into the apartment. Here are three shelving units ready for assembly.
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First they created a plywood substructure, with electrical wiring and power outlets built in.
First they created a plywood substructure, with electrical wiring and power outlets built in.
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Then they glued the partially assembled Corian shelving unit over the plywood substructure.
Then they glued the partially assembled Corian shelving unit over the plywood substructure.
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Here's a view of it mid-assembly.
Here's a view of it mid-assembly.
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Midway through the installation, a builder inset LED lighting strips in the center section of the Corian and plywood unit.
Midway through the installation, a builder inset LED lighting strips in the center section of the Corian and plywood unit.
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Here's a detail showing how the Corian skin fits over the plywood base.
Here's a detail showing how the Corian skin fits over the plywood base.
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Another detail shot.
Another detail shot.
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After the pieces were all glued in place, workers sanded the whole thing for three days to achieve a seamless integration with the back wall and the skylight overhead.<br /><br />Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us
After the pieces were all glued in place, workers sanded the whole thing for three days to achieve a seamless integration with the back wall and the skylight overhead.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
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Here are the filled and vacuum-formed Corian parts of the unit, laid out in Associated Fabrication's workshop prior to assembly. You can spot the MDF molds visible in the background.
Here are the filled and vacuum-formed Corian parts of the unit, laid out in Associated Fabrication's workshop prior to assembly. You can spot the MDF molds visible in the background.

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