Conversions

by Hannah Fenton

September 22, 2017

Modernist restoration in Brussels, Belgium

A 20-year love affair with a Bauhaus-influenced property has finally given one Belgian couple the home of their dreams. Xavier and Pascale de Breucker had…

Hi-tech appliances combine with contemporary style in this new-build family home in West London.

Case study Hi tech contemporary kitchen 1

Creating a kitchen that will work well for a large family requires ingenuity, but when that design also has to meet the demands of professional chefs, hi-tech kit and clever design is essential. Fortunately, architect and owner Alex Michaelis of Michaelis Boyd, the firm behind Battersea Power Station, knew exactly where to turn when he needed a kitchen for his new home – to long-time collaborators Kitchen Architecture (01865 426 990; kitchenarchitecture. co.uk) and designer Colin Astridge.

The property itself was notably unusual. Built on the site of an old MOT garage in West London, the concrete house has rounded towers and rooftop terraces, so it needed a spectacular kitchen to match.

Alex and his partner, Susanna, have seven children, so designing a kitchen for them meant focusing on everything it would have to do for a large family,’ says Astridge.

‘Plus, the brief for this kitchen wasn’t just for it to be practical for them, but also for serious cooking and entertaining. The couple required it to work well for when they host events with professional chefs and staff. I had to consider its dual function as the heart of a comfortable home and a networking space when required.’

Case study Hi tech contemporary kitchen 2

As an architect himself and fan of Bulthaup kitchens, Alex had plenty of ideas about how he imagined the room would be used and its design, with a large central island and a suite of professional appliances by Electrolux Grand Cuisine, including a blast chiller, two combination ovens and – unusually – a vacuum sealer for sous-vide cooking.

‘That’s our favourite appliance now,’ says Alex. ‘We cook with it a lot. We also use the sear hob most days. It’s especially good for big Sunday breakfasts with lots of friends and children round – we can easily make eggs and bacon for 18, if we need to.’

Most of the cooking equipment has been centred on the 5.5m island, which combines a worksurface with a breakfast bar for the children to sit at when Alex and Susanna are busy preparing meals. Designed to look as if it’s floating, it serves as a contemporary piece of furniture as well as a multipurpose hub.

Case study Hi tech contemporary kitchen 3

‘I’m pleased with the function and the form of the design,’ states Astridge. ‘I had to ensure that the kitchen worked ergonomically as well as aesthetically. As it was a family home, we didn’t want it to look too sterile.’

Storage was high on Susanna’s wish list, so Astridge designed tall units to maximise space for pans, crockery and food. Simple good looks mask how much planning went into this room. The finished design seamlessly integrates hi-tech appliances to cater for a crowd with a sensible layout for everyday use.

‘Alex and Susanna have been using their new space for about six months and it’s proved how well it works,’ says Astridge. ‘The kitchen is efficient and practical, but it’s also a happy place to be.’

 

Words: Rachel Ogden, Photography: Luke White

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