Should a kitchen be invisible?

slice of counter
© i29

i29 architects raise a lot of interesting questions with this kitchen in Paris.

Dutch design firm i29 has built what they call an invisible kitchen; they tell archinect:

invisible kitchen closed© i29
As living spaces and kitchen islands merge together in most contemporary homes nowadays, i29 designed a kitchen that acts more as a piece of furniture instead of as a kitchen. Our aim was to develop a kitchen system that seems to disappear in space.

In a time when we are trying to develop designs that use less space and serve multiple functions, that is a laudable goal. It certainly wasn't necessary in this very posh paris apartment, but it certainly is a lovely piece of furniture.

i29 open kitchen© i29

I love how the three most important kitchen appliances are an oven, an espresso machine and a computer.

The design is reduced to it’s absolute minimum, having a top surface of only a couple of centimeters thickness with all water, cooking and electrical connections included. Large sliding wall panels conceal all kitchen appliances and storage space.

full apartment© i29

It is true, however that the kitchen is almost invisible; the designers have matched the panelling of this glorious apartment and the island is just a sliver, floating in front.

In the case of this apartment in Paris, where the kitchen concept is installed, an existing profiled wall is exactly copied on the front panels in order to integrate the solid volume with the monumental space. The freestanding kitchen island is placed in front of the panelled sliding doors.

i29 open kitchen preparation© i29

One could make the case that the designers have sacrificed utility for aesthetics; a sink that is only a couple of centimeters deep might be fine for filling a pot, but you can't wash much in it. Perhaps if you have a good dishwasher, you don't have to.

blur overview© i29

More at Archinect

Should a kitchen be invisible?
i29 architects raise a lot of interesting questions with this kitchen in Paris.

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