These Architectural Kitchens Took Center Stage at Salone del Mobile in Milan

MILAN Dining rooms are so last season. Everyone is crowded into the kitchen, or so the latest designs displayed at Salone del Mobile.Milano suggested this week. Industry leaders here agree that the kitchen is the focal point of the home — the pulse where all the entertaining happens, whether the food was ordered from an app or made at home.

“If you look at wealthy people, they don’t cook. I mean, there’s always a kitchen behind there. Yeah. They might make breakfast for their children or a sandwich for themselves, but the kitchen becomes a beautiful background,” Glenn Pushelberg, founding partner of Yabu Pushelberg told WWD as he and his partner, George Yabu, showed off their latest design for Eggersmann, a German kitchen maker. “It’s more like a sculpture. It’s like furniture,” Pushelberg continued.

More from WWD

Crafted from stone, the Nami kitchen island by Yabu Pushelberg for Eggersmann is a centerpiece whose sculpted edges are inspired by the symbol for “wave” and “beautiful” in Japanese kanji. The kitchen island’s shape echoes the form of oceanic waves and mixes functionality with expression to create a venue for gatherings.

Design week was abuzz with fresh designs like this that centered the kitchen as the undisputed pulse of the home.

American designer Mick De Giulio, who is known for his custom bath and kitchen projects in residences and hotels, said five to 10 years ago, kitchens were still being done as separated rooms. But today, kitchens are eclipsing the living room and half the projects he works on don’t feature formal dining areas.

“It’s a much more open and connected way of living…the feedback we get from our clients is always positive. I never had a single negative response to those designs and now condos are being built and designed in this way,” he added.

The Diesel “Get Together” kitchen project made by Scavolini took the idea of conviviality even further through forming a seamless hybrid setting and unprecedented composition with a central inside-out island, where the functions are concealed, with extensive customization possibilities.

Diesel Scavolini modern kitchen
The “Get Together” kitchen by Diesel Living with Scavolini.

On the occasion of its 90th birthday, Boffi showcased an updated design for the Cove Kitchen originally designed by Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016. This season, Boffi sought to highlight that it was first known as a kitchen furniture maker before it gained prominence as a home furniture designer. And with its Cove kitchen, its rounded edges and spacious entertaining capabilities, Boffi continues to contribute to modern standards of living. Hadid’s design firm explained that the new idea of Cove Kitchen evolves from the concept developed by Zaha Hadid Design in 2017, in which the work island also becomes a place of conviviality between architectural rigor and philosophical concept. Following the intrinsic logic of the previous design, while offering the flexibility of a modular system, this new iteration is supported laterally by two panels with rounded edges, both with identical cross-sections, covering the entire side of the island.

Boffi’s Cove kitchen designed by Zaha Hadid.
Boffi’s Cove kitchen designed by Zaha Hadid.

Arclinea’s Proxima kitchen, the latest model in the collection, designed and coordinated by Milan-based architect Antonio Citterio, is another kitchen made for people and their passions, and turns the kitchen into a site for experimentation and conviviality. It is coupled with the brand new Hortus, a piece of furniture designed for growing aromatic herbs and small vegetables. Hortus joins the Duet collection, characterized by the double large coplanar doors, and integrates hydroponic cultivation controlled by software that allows for fresh, organic products to be on hand.

The Arclinea Proxima kitchen with the new Hortus kitchen garden in the background.