Drawings are the intermediate step between creative imagination and built structures. They are usually my first contact with projects and after reading them for thirty years I have long recognized that, like most forms of human communication, they come with a full foundation of subtext. Their immediate purpose is technical specification, but they can suggest far more by the graphic style, the room labels, and the architect's decisions about what information is included (and excluded). Good design integrates and balances multiple layers of program and aesthetics, but every set of drawings will give clues to the designer's priorities. You can usually tell whether the architect favors the exterior composition over the experience of the interior spaces and even whether the relationship between the architect, owner, and builder will be collaborative or controlling. Room labels can be as expressive as the names for paint colors or as prosaic as "family room" and "study." I have worked on a few overblown projects where a surfeit of rooms emptied the label bank and left undefined rooms stranded in Starvenia. Even in the smallest dwellings, however, there is always a space marked "kitchen" and it never fails to hold my attention since this is not only the heart of most homes but also the primary focus of our work at KR+H.
What does the label, "kitchen" signify? There are no fewer than three components for a space to qualify as a kitchen. These essentials provide for CC+S: Cooking, Cleaning, and Storage. All kitchen functions can reduce to one of these three. Of course kitchens are complex spaces with additional dimensions of aesthetics and psychology, but these enrichments can happen wherever CC+S are provided. If any space can be a kitchen when the defining trio of functions is present, then incorporating them in furniture flips the focus from room to contents. Hiding the kitchen functions in the furniture takes it a step further. Rooms with hidden kitchen furniture can be both multifunctional and transformable. Think about the benefits not only for smaller homes and apartments, but also for offices and hospitality spaces
This is the simple idea behind the new kitchen furniture that KR+H will unveil at ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City, May 19-22. We have concealed CC+S in two pieces of furniture made from quartered black walnut and figured satin wood. Our hidden kitchen pieces also include The Cube, a table and chairs that fit together like a three dimensional puzzle.
Please visit us at ICFF, Booth 2358, and find a full kitchen and dining space hiding in 200 square feet.