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Last week saw the arrival in London of two of Boffi’s latest kitchen concepts, Duemilaotto by the brand’s Creative Director, Piero Lissoni, and On/Off by Alberto Colonello.
Freshly installed in the beautiful Brompton Cross showroom (with paint just about dry before the first visitors arrived) the two models are an interesting mark of where kitchen design is heading.
On the one hand, Piero Lissoni’s model shows a return to artisanal values in the kitchen –tactile, natural materials are juxtaposed with Boffi’s signature minimal finishes in steel and Corian. A large slab of Alpine acacia wood, heat-treated to make it durable and unstained to bring out the natural, organic qualities of the material, forms the main work surface, bringing an air of rustic charm to the design.
The extractor hood – the bane of so many kitchen designs – follows this theme. Rather than trying to draw as little attention as possible to it, Lissoni has made a feature of it, covering it with handmade tiles by Domenico Mori, from Le Marche in Italy.
Lissoni’s design is a performance kitchen with traditional culinary values at heart - one for cooking in, for rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty, for knocking up a feast for fifty in front of your guests and not panicking about cleaning up straight after.
Alberto Colonello’s design is an example of what’s happening at the opposite end of the kitchen spectrum: sleek, futuristic and barely there. The show-stopping element is an electric screen that, at the touch of a sleek button on the side, folds down and hides the kitchen in its entirety.
Three years in development it’s doubtless an incredible technical innovation. Save only for the small dishwasher control panel, when the screen is down you’d never know there was a kitchen behind the dark wood veneer panels. In Colonello’s opinion, it’s the flexibility of the design and function that people are attracted to.
‘I’m interested in dual functions’, he explains ‘and I designed the On/Off kitchen as more of a flexible space than just a kitchen. It can be used as a storage space or a worktop as well as a kitchen – the idea is that it integrates fully into your existing home or work place and hides everything away behind the screen, when closed.”
Baring all or hiding everything away, kitchen design is currently polarising between the two - buying a new kitchen these days maybe says more about your character than simply your culinary enthusiasm.
250 Brompton Road
London SW3 2AS
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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