Opposite the built-in, the other side of the room is left open, with plenty of space for free movement, but it’s easy to imagine this setup working for even smaller apartments lacking that living and dining area, so long as you don’t mind looking down on your partner as they cook. The glass pane gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘breakfast in bed,’ but a curtain panel could always used to provide privacy when desired.
The design firm envisions this theme spreading beyond the walls of the kitchen to entire houses and buildings, imagining the next step of our living conditions. MVRDV hopes to take the accepted norms of today and push past them toward newer, better solutions. The desire for transparency has already resulted in a project called ‘Crystal Houses’ in Amsterdam, a traditional facade made from glass, as well as an office with all glass interiors, furniture and equipment in Hong Kong.
Clearly, the racks are pretty small, and the compact size coupled with a central axis makes it hard to wash more than a day’s worth of dishes at a time or add any pots or platters to the mix. But this concept was specifically envisioned for smaller urban kitchens in which space comes at a premium, and there’s no reason it couldn’t be made available in a range of sizes to accommodate larger households.
The trend in modern kitchen design for the last decade or so has leaned toward a clean minimalist aesthetic, aiming to hide as much clutter as possible from view. Nearly all cookware, tableware and even appliances are rendered virtually invisible with the use of floor-to-ceiling cabinets, camouflaged refrigerator doors, storage islands and other disguises. The effect is undeniably orderly, but it can feel a tad institutional at times. Are we headed toward a backlash?
Though most of the world gets along just fine without dishwashers, a lot of people have gotten accustomed to their convenience, and it’s hard for many people to imagine completing daily kitchen tasks without one. Compared to the process of hand-washing, it’s definitely faster and less labor-intensive, and it can arguably waste less water, depending on the machine. But we tend to take for granted just how easy it is to load it up with dirtied items, add detergent, press a button and wait for them to come out sparkling clean to the point of complaining about the task of putting them away when it’s done.
Combining the appearance of basalt with highlights of gold and brass (typically ‘Dickensian’ metals), The Fire Kitchen suggests warmth and flame. It resonates beautifully with Dixon’s ‘Melt’ series of pendant light fittings, fashioned in copper.
World-renowned fashion powerhouse Dolce & Gabbana has recently teamed up with the Italian appliance company SMEG to craft a collection of vibrant, avant-garde kitchenware. The line is called “Sicily My Love” in reference to its attempt to embody the beauty of that island and the culture of Southern Italy, which D&G designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce both call home. Adorned with important patterns and figures from Sicilian folklore, the collection proudly displays the brands’ shared heritage in a marriage of function and art and makes extensive use of floral, fruit, and bird imagery.
Says Arana, “Through research into trends and statistics concerning food consuming, social and living arrangements, I focused on single occupancy living. The research showed a rise in people living on their own. My aim is to deliver a contemporary take on kitchen appliances.” “As a response to this growing trend of compact, changeable lifestyles in small apartments of single living people I would like to make a revision of the kitchen.”
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