Location: Upper East Side New York City, New York
The Frankfurt Kitchen of 1926 was the forerunner of modern fitted kitchens and had a unified concept to enable efficient work, consolidating a person's efforts and allowing them more time to spend elsewhere. Using the Frankfurt Kitchen for inspiration, Michelle began asking herself how the typology of the NYC kitchenette for her building, in the ‘S’ line, needed to be upgraded to fit today’s physical and aesthetic needs.
But unlike the Frankfurt kitchen, Michelle wanted to take this a step further and open it up rather than concealing it, and its user, inside a room. This would showcase the designer’s evolved notion of “cooking”,that would now become an orchestrated dance to be put on display.
Michelle had a typical NYC kitchenette, a small room with an air grille for ventilation, and in this case, there was a small window that was currently blocked by a refrigerator. There was also the problem of the foyer space, which was just a waste in an apartment this small, and the structural wall that could not be removed.
Michelle responded to these conditions by designing the kitchen to become a wrap around condition, in an ‘L’ shape, that would use the foyer more effectively and at the same time, face the living area, and all the while concealing the structural wall that separates them.
The appliances are designed within the cabinetry to give a tailored look that does not allow for distraction, and you instead focus on the user. This renovation made the otherwise small, unused foyer and ineffective kitchen, now a focal point that dictates movement throughout. The kitchen has unified and designed an otherwise standard one bedroom apartment and seeks to become a new standard in this building’s typology.
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