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18 April 2012
Milan Design Week: LaCucinaAlessi by Valcucine
Alessi pairs up with Valcucine to create a highly adaptable all-in-one kitchen unit designed by Wiel Arets. Rachel Lee-Leong reports.
Tucked away in the basement of the Valcucine showroom at Corso Garibaldi, Milan, LaCucinaAlessi by Valcucine is a sight to behold. A freestanding monolithic Corian unit in Glacier White, the kitchen by Wiel Arets is impressive for its purity of form and highly refined details. More than this, it is a thoughtful response to the way people use their homes and kitchens today. The Dutch architect tells us more:
“The kitchen is, in a lot of new apartments and houses, getting a very prominent position. It should be functional, but it should also have a different position. Maybe you use it in a different way. The question is, ‘How can I make a kitchen that I can use for more than one programme?’
This kitchen is not a traditional kitchen – not a place where you only cook. Here, it is a sculpture in the room. Normally, the kitchen only has one side. You look from the front and that was it. Here, there are four sides. You may stand on one side and store things in the kitchen. On the other side, you can use the storage for the living room, the dining room, maybe even the bedroom. The kitchen is a space for relaxing. It is also a space for communication.
Also, for me, hygiene is very important. So, there are no joints; this kitchen is one smooth surface.
I’m born in Holland – people are very pragmatic, but we also think rooms should be used in free ways. So the kitchen should not be too specific. I have to imagine how someone from Asia or America would react to the product. And I think the idea we have is very adaptable in those countries.”