27 Jan 2021 •
Shortlisted - Kitchen of the Year
Strategy & Space
The interior designer Dominika Brunner has realised her vision of an apartment kitchen as a culinary meeting place in a 19th century building. It’s placed in Prenzlauer Berg, a historical location between East and West Berlin.
With the directly adjacent Mauerpark, street trees and improvised neighbourhood flower beds, the old apartment looks as if it was part of an urban garden. This situation was the starting point of the main idea for the kitchen design.
A layout of the Wilhelminian and GDR era had its challenges. The kitchen was relocated to the place of the former bathroom and hallway. What initially looked like a weakness, the designer has turned into the impressive signature of the apartment. The kitchen thus fulfils a purpose that it often had in the pre-industrial past: it became the central meeting point, which closes the main entrance axis. A generous east-west axis runs perpendicular to it across adjacent rooms on both sides.
The typical cooking space was converted into an inviting bar, which exudes the atmosphere of an English gentlemen’s club. The monumental-minimalist furniture in oiled oak and dark forest green is complemented by grey stone slabs, massive metal handles from Buster+Punch and bar stools from Frama. The dominant room shadow is balanced out by carefully planned lighting. A hand-blown pendant lamp from Artemide and flexible spotlights from Mawa create spatial comfort. The kitchen is filled with travel treasures such as ceramics from Japan and Mexico, or wooden bowls from Laos, Ethiopia and South Africa.
Innovation: The kitchen design applies the full frame principle often used in free standing kitchens to a spatially closed kitchen unit that is fitted exactly to the walls of the available space. By that it creates the warm wooden cabinet atmosphere of a home library or a paneled wall in an English club house. In addition materials often used in an industrial setting are combined with an wooden natural style. The riffled Buster & Punch solid metal pull bars with diamond-cut knurled handles and the concrete-like appearance of the quartz stone generate an unusual contrast to the brown and green color scheme of the furniture.
Creativity: The concept shows how an unusual and challenging layout with only 12 m2, three interrupting doors and without any windows, can be turned into the eycatching hightlight of the whole apartment.
Functionality: The kitchen does not only fulfill necessary functions for an easy usage, but it is also an inviting reception bar for all guests. As the crosspoint of the main two axis of the flat it creates the central meeting point for the family members.
Sustainability: In order to create a sustainable design, particularly long-living materials were used. The Caesarstone countertop and backsplash are very durable and safe for use in all food environments. They are also easy to maintain since the material doesn’t require any treating, except water and regular detergent. For the structure quality solid wood and veneer were used.
Inclusivity: The layout of the countertop and the table is broad enough for wheel chairs and is free of any barriers.