For ten years, renowned architects and designers Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez (partners at MTD-R, part of Matteo Thun & Partners) have been designing high-quality knives, cutlery and cookware for Zwilling JA Henckels. Now, they have also designed the interiors for Zwilling’s new factory store and cooking school in Shanghai, China.
Zwilling – meaning 'twins' – started life 285 years ago in Solingen, Germany, a town renowned for the production of high quality steel. It quickly won awards and expanded on an international scale. The ten-year collaboration with Thun and Rodriguez has seen the creation of the iconic 'TWIN 1731' range of ebony handled knives – utilising a high-performing, corrosion-resistant Cronidur 30 steel to make enduring tools, loved by cooks of all abilities. Their collection of cutlery, chef’s knives, pans and glassware for Zwilling has this year been bolstered with a teapot, steel sieves, a parmesan grater, wok and additional cooking knives.
With a decade of knowledge of the brand’s philosophy, Thun and Rodriguez were the natural choice to design Zwilling’s new Chinese concept hub. Giving free rein to their love of natural materials, texture and touchability, they have created a striking showroom featuring exposed brickwork, vintage factory machinery and Chinese patterned wooden dividers that effortlessly combine the heritage of the brand and the vernacular of its new home.
Demonstrating the cookware, chefs prepare food on a long marble counter in the heart of the store. Enthusiasts can also test the products themselves, learning a few special skills in the concrete and wood-floored cooking studio, set above the store and where the in-house chefs – and occasional guest stars like Steven Liu or Cornelia Poletto – will be sharing their culinary craft.