Craftmanship, quiet functionality, and a love of cooking inspired the design of a kitchen set within a Grade II listed townhouse. Created for the founder of product design studio Tiipoi and her partner, the design was informed by both the paired back, elegant language of the historic Georgian house along with the natural, raw materials which feature prominently in the Tiipoi range of objects and cookware. The kitchen is a both testing ground and showcase for Tiipoi’s range of products which are in everyday use. The typical ergonomic and functional requirements of a kitchen are combined with the social and symbolic geometry of the circular unit, which is a combination of preparatory, cooking, and gathering space.
The existing kitchen was dark, cluttered and difficult to use because of its unusual shape including three doorways linking the other rooms of the lower ground floor. The listed status of the house meant the existing layout could not be altered.
The solution was to propose a circular unit positioned centrally in the room, creating a hub that allows circulation to flow freely around it while also forming the main working space and storage for the kitchen. The circular island is supported by three further freestanding elements set to the edges of the room; a wall of shallow shelves and storage for oils, spices, implements, and dry foods is set directly behind the hob. A window unit of deep drawers for crockery, large pots and pans, provides a separate worktop for plating up, and finally a functional stainless steel sink and dishwashing area.
The units share a common language of solid wood laminated panels which create a robust structure of vertical supports, allowing the pieces to stand freely without wall mounting. The circular unit, anticipated to see the most intensive use, has Marmoleum faced cupboard and drawer fronts for easy cleaning. A highly figured, honed granite worktop, was chosen as one of the most hardwearing natural materials. The supporting units are left undecorated, with a natural spruce finish. The edge details are rounded to prevent damage and chipping, with the construction of the laminated boards clearly expressed in the details. The drawer pulls are shaped to be generous, rounded, and deeply recessed to allow easy and comfortable use.
The ubiquitous rectangular, modular fitted kitchen often sits uncomfortably within pre twentieth century homes whose proportions and dimensions were planned when both kitchen furniture, and the way we cooked was very different. Whilst a highly bespoke, specific response to the house and client, the freestanding, panelised construction and untypical dimensions of the project explore broader ideas about what kitchens can be and how they can work differently, particularly in historic houses.Location: London Date: 2022 Type: Private Photography: Lorenzo Zandri