This is part of an ongoing series of posts in which we’ll take an in-depth look at the story behind the winning designs in our 2010-2012 Kitchen Design Contest.
Sub-Zero and Wolf: Who drove the inspiration for this design?
Barry Price: The client provided a tremendous amount of freedom and trust, giving us a lot of room to conceptualize and develop the design solution. The client definitely had requirements, and predispositions toward fixtures and appliances, but was open to the ways in which they could/would be integrated into the kitchen and the house itself.
SZW: What inspired it?
BP: It was inspired primarily by the intention to treat this kitchen differently than several we have done prior. In so many kitchens the appliances are framed and featured by cabinetry, and there isn’t a strong sense of continuity between the materials and proportions of both. We strove to integrate the appliances into the material palette and visual orientation and composition of the kitchen, so there was a strong sense of integration in the finished work.
SZW: Was there an overarching theme to the design?
BP: Integration. Articulating the relationship between wood (walnut) and metal (stainless steel) so that the stainless steel of the drawers and toe kicks are resolved relative to the installed finished face of the appliances. The real goal was to create a continuous field of stainless steel that the wood panels of the cabinetry would float within.
SZW: Why were the colors in this kitchen chosen?
BP: The colors are really the materials, which were chosen as a consistent palette for the entire house. The house is a study of combinations and iterations of walnut, stainless steel, Onondaga limestone and epoxy coated structural steel.
SZW: How were finishes chosen?
BP: Largely by their potential to reinforce the integration of the components of the kitchen. We sought to select a wood species that could be used for cabinets, flooring and millwork, a metal that would be easy to coordinate with appliances and plumbing fixtures for visual continuity.
SZW: What’s your favorite part of the kitchen?
BP: The way the stainless steel hardware is integrated into the cabinetry and overall kitchen design. These details reinforce the linear/streamlined effect of the kitchen.
SZW: What did you learn from this project that will help you most in future jobs?
BP: There were challenges associated with integrating wood and metal into a durable and well-detailed cabinet, and the dialogue with the fabricator allowed the solution to evolve. When you challenge standard detailing, you need to be certain the effect you strive for will be worth the effort. I’m confident that in this case it was.
SZW: Tips for other designers?
BP: Work with fabricators who prepare detailed and clear shop drawings, the success of a kitchen design lives and dies by the translation from intention to fabrication.