Compact, versatile and magnificently minimalist, Norbert Wangen's freestanding kitchens have led the field for two decades. His newest launch, which is part of his own line, takes these qualities to new heights.
Christened 'Forever', the kitchen has a defiantly simple appearance. When not in use, it resembles a cuboid block, without a fixture in sight. Only when the kitchen top – a sleek, polished slab – is slid out do we see a sink and cooking range, both of which have been reduced to the simplest geometric forms. The sides come in a choice of two materials: jet black Corian or a square-patterned, reflective steel.
Elegantly proportioned and skillfully finished, 'Forever' is a perfect addition to any modernist home. And because of the amount of handiwork that goes into production, the model will only available in limited quantities – no doubt adding to its allure.
The kitchen is on display at the showroom of interior designer Roland Woborsky, a friend of Wangen's. For the occasion, this slick, lofty space near Vienna's Belvedere palace has been fitted with a new wall installation, entitled 'Scala'. Inspired by Periaktos – a technique developed by ancient Greeks to change theatre scenes – the Swiss stage designer Ingrid Erb created a system of revolving prisms, with different materials on each of their three surfaces. One is upholstered in bright fabric, another painted with climactic swirls of grey and blue in a nod to Caspar David Friedrich's Monk by the Sea, and the final one veneered in ebony.
The panels undulate to offer contrasting visual and tactile experiences, adding just the right amount of drama to Woborsky's space. Against this constantly changing backdrop, the 'Forever' kitchen stands serene and timeless, as befits its name.