It’s that time of year again when quartz specialist Caesarstone pushes the boundaries of their dynamic wares by collaborating with a design big-hitter. Recall last year’s folkloric playground by Jaime Hayon, or 2016’s elemental kitchens by Tom Dixon, each project is first unveiled at Interior Design Show in Toronto, and then evolves throughout the year.

This year’s offering is the brainchild of multi-disciplinary design renegade Snarkitecture. It centres on any self-respecting domestic dreamer’s contemporary kitchen must-have – the island – a space which has become ‘the social hub of the house,’ says Alex Mustonen, Snarkitecture’s partner and co-founder. It’s an idea that aligns with his goal of ‘creating environments and experiences that are designed to be inclusive.’

‘Play Island’, by Snarkitecture for Caesarstone, 2018. Photography: Alex Lukey

Using Caesarstone’s surfaces as a jumping off point, Snarkitecture have created four, highly conceptual takes on kitchen islands. Each have their own identities, yet communicate with the same design language, categorised by sinuous, stratified layers that emulate natural topography.

Titled ‘Ice Island’, ‘Water Island’, ‘Steam Island’ and ‘Play Island’, the four-fold installation reflects the kitchen island’s multi-function; a place of preparation, performance, and occasional kitchen-sink drama. Take ‘Steam Island’, for instance, which comprises 28, finely rendered layers of Caesarstone White Attica quartz. Through the layers, an atmospheric emission of water vapour emits from the surface – evoking both earth-shattering volcanic eruptions, and (a little closer to home) the gentle over-boiling of a pan.

More objet d'art than à la carte, the islands are intended to convey the brilliance of Caesarstone surfaces. ‘As architects, we tend to be very material-oriented,’ says Ben Porto, partner at Snarkitecture. ‘This collaboration gives us the opportunity to engage and interact with the Caesarstone material, something we would like to pass on to visitors of the installation, demonstrating its versatility and quality.’

The IDS instalment is just the appetiser for this ongoing island project – look out for the large scale installation during Salone del Mobile in April.