It became clear at Wallpaper* Handmade last year that Belgian architect Glenn Sestig has a real way with stone. Crafted from Iranian titanium travertine, his ‘Pleasure Dome’ stood out with its uniquely sculptural form – a mastery derived from a pointed precision, paired with a fascination for the beautiful quality of the stone itself.
Sestig has sparked up magic with titanium travertine yet again for this year's Maison et Objet. This time, he's transformed it into a kitchen model: the ‘Signature Kitchen’, made for Kortrijk-based interiors brand Obumex.
It should come as no surprise that many were bemused by Sestig's new venture; the raw boisterous structure boasts a particularly minimalist appeal. 'Signature Kitchen' exists as a single shapely piece, with its attachments, functions and storage stealthily hidden. The only displayed features appear to be the tap, and the leather, wooden veneer and bronze stool.
Arriving as a kitchen but also described as a ‘big aesthetical bar table’ and ‘room divider’, the design’s strong geometric frame means it alters the space it is placed in. ‘Most contemporary kitchen designs are dominated by horizontal lines,’ explains Sestig. 'We break through this cliché with a vertical volume, a strong architectural statement.’ The two floor-to-ceiling columns divide the space, while simultaneously concealing a hidden cupboard and the back of the sink.
Among the natural flaws, pigments and veins that exist in the titanium travertine are protruding edges and gaps between the material sheets; all small, yet artistic, attributes that are endlessly intriguing.
'This is a kitchen that does not look like a cooking place,' the studio concludes, 'but rather like a contemporary sculpture.’