Culinary academy – BULTHAUP SHOWROOM

Location: Tel Aviv
Total floor area: 450 sqm
Design & Build 2013
Program: showroom

An abandoned, derelict building in Tel Aviv Port I was asked to design the new showroom for the German kitchen company bulthaup. In order to put together a design concept, I went to the company’s factory in Munich. Whilst in the factory’s courtyard, when I was talking to the carpenters and other professionals whohand build these kitchenswith great craftsmanship, skill and precision, I suddenly came across a row of white containers, all with the company’s logo and all waiting to be filled before being shipped to all four corners of the globe. I photographed the containers and returned to my office with my meeting with people behind the machinery, with the designers behind the concepts and idea and the picture of the white containers all leaving a lasting and strong impression on my mind.

Around this meeting I designed a showroom that expresses the activities and the actions of the person behind the machine. The 500 square meter showroom is divided into three sections where, on one side, designers sit in an open studio exposed to the showroom’s visitors with, on the other side, we designed a series of working kitchen islands for cooking classes to be held in the showroom. Thus we created an interesting and engaging dialogue and contrast between the company’s accuracy and design restraints and the human factor that is involved in their design or use afterwards.

In order to emphasize the spirit of the company behind these expertly designed and built kitchens, the space was designed to resemble an industrial loft with the use design elements in their raw, unprocessed state (such as an exposed concrete wall, a system of doors with exposed, rusting metal and industrial screens and a concrete floor, polished until the gravel is visible). One internal façade of the space is constructed entirely from doors taken from the containers used to transport the kitchens for display. Through these entry to the service and storage areas is facilitated. In effect, the display space is an expression of all stages in the process; the kitchen designer (the designers studio), its construction (industrial materials), its shipment (the container doors and its use (the cookery school).