Crystallization Plant

The Crystallization Plant is focused on creating uses for salt produced by the Camargue region’s salt makers. Atelier LUMA is researching and developing new materials, made from salt crystals, that can be produced within this historic industry and its natural environment.

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Using salt crystallization processes to develop innovative applications and strengthen the historic local salt industry.

For centuries, the saltwater of the Rhône delta has been used to produce salt. Today, production is primarily destined for the agri-food and chemical industries. Since 2017, Atelier LUMA has been exploring the physical and aesthetic attributes of Camargue salt in order to develop materials that feature this local resource. This research opens the salt industry up to innovative applications in new fields, such as design and architecture.

The "Wall of Salt" project team looks back on four years of exploration and collaboration, to enhance the value of the salt resource and the know-how surrounding it

The Crystallization Plant is developing several different techniques for transforming salt. One part of its activity involves in-depth research into the crystallization process. When submerged in the salt marshes for several days, objects become covered in salt crystals, which vary in size and color depending on meteorological conditions. The other is focused on using molding, pressing, heating, and thermocompression to make three-dimensional prototypes.

In collaboration with local partners, the Crystallization Plant is approaching the natural process of crystallization in the salt marshes as a means of production. This process’s low environmental impact means it can potentially be integrated directly into the Camargue environment, in harmony with natural cycles and available resources.

Using custom frames, the Crystallization Plant has produced its first series of crystallized salt panel prototypes. The aesthetic and structural properties of the panels make them suitable for use in architectural projects.


The research into Camargue salt is expanding with the study of the raw material’s intrinsic properties. In this way, the Crystallization Plant is exploring new directions for salt, such as energy production and light diffusion

Project team

  • Atelier LUMA

    Arles, France

  • Karlijn Sibbel

    Designer

    Arnhem, The Netherlands

  • Groupe Salins, Salins du Midi et de l’Est

    Aigues-Mortes, France

  • A-Corros

    Arles, France

  • LCA CRT CATAR

    Toulouse, France

  • Carrillo Carrelage

    Montpellier, France

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