These days, the design world showcased by EuroCucina is very firmly rooted in the values of rationality, functionality and linguistic purity. While furnishings, for the living room, in particular, can play the nostalgia or provocation card, the large kitchen manufacturers have opted for the serenity of perfectly calibrated surfaces, made from fine materials and boasting increasingly cutting edge technology (internal fittings, hinges, and sliding systems). The contemporary design vocabulary has taken hold everywhere.
Dada at EuroCucina
The kitchen design scene is now expertly built on solids and voids, with sophisticated geometrical compositions (see the impeccable Ratio design range by Belgian architect Vincent van Duysen for Dada). There is also a more or less extensive predilection for totally enclosed surfaces. In this sense, Giuseppe Bavuso’s approach to Inside System for Ernestomeda is paradigmatic: a kitchen intended as a summation of functional microcosms ripe for “penetration”.
Ernestomeda at EuroCucina
Equally, Gabriele Centazzo’s Logica Celata design for Valcucine is a monolith with a surprise! Scavolini has come up with an integral proposal – Box Life (Rainlight design with HOK), a complete living system, with domestic appliances, utility room, fold-up bed and stool concealed behind hidden doors.
Valcucine at EuroCucina
Scavolini at EuroCucina
Basically, the traditional floor and hanging units system seems to be changing places with the endless horizontal surfaces made of stone, steel, Corian or Fenix, or large vertical surfaces composed of technological laminates, colored glass or precious woods (see Veneta Cucine’s Lounge model in which oxidised pine is teamed with liquid bronze metal). The solid effect, achieved with full height walls, alternates with the void effect of the surfaces used for washing or cooking, the latter marked out by highly efficient and visually impactful cooker hoods (see, on this subject, FTK, Technology for the Kitchen).
Jdias at EuroCucina
There are significant, now-consolidated variations in size. In particular, the so-called bases tend to be made both taller, fostering more ergonomically correct work positions, and deeper, leaving more room for small accessories. Even the color schemes respect the general “architectural construction” tone that kitchens have assumed, and thus the dry hue of steel alternates with the colors of the materials themselves, with palettes ranging from warm grey to brown, with pops of rose and Terranova red. Black and white are also popular, especially where integrally monochromatic kitchens are concerned, but references to the primary and pastel colors that had characterized the kitchen design world some time ago are now few and far between.
Officine Gullo at EuroCucina
Needless to say, there are also contradictions that serve to buck this general architectural trend (material, volumetric and chromatic), but they are driven by particular conditions: see the Soft Grey & Nicheled Brass project from Officine Gullo, a company traditionally linked with the image of highly professional kitchens. Equally, there are projects with special focus on the demands posed by city apartment living: Atelier Mendini has come up with AM 01 for Sanwa Company, a “real piece of furniture” with curving painted and decorated doors measuring a mere 120×65 cm., designed to be placed in the middle of the room.
Grundig at FTK, Technology for the Kitchen
The domestic kitchen appliances are largely in full view, in materials and finish that contrast sharply with the kitchens around them, although some – technological items such as ovens – are still built-in. These elements, therefore, take on the value of the cockpit in a motor car or the control panel in a spaceship and in this way, a visit to FTK, EuroCucina’s parallel exhibition, takes on the connotations of a very real journey into science fiction.
Photographs – Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano, Photos by Saverio Lombardi Vallauri
Cover Photo – Schueller at EuroCucina