A system of boxes and storage units that can be moved, added or removed to create new configurations. Plus a series of modular prisms repeated inside the drawers and vertically on the wall. This, very briefly, is the kitchen of the future as seen by Bulthaup: "Inderaumwachsen", which literally means growing in space, is the buzzword of the new concept that allows the kitchen space to adapt to the needs of its user.
How was the "kitchen of the future" conceived?
Approximately ten people from different company departments designed this kitchen. Schultes is the star designer and has been with Bulthaup for more than 20 years but – as always in our company – it really is the product of teamwork.
Is there a dominant feature in the design?
All its different features are equally important and the product stems from a philosophy based on the Bauhaus tradition – form follows function – very Minimalistically. We started out focusing on the four basic kitchen functions: washing, cooking, preparing and conserving. Everything derives from these functions, which place people and their needs at the core of the design.
What is the end result?
We have been working on this concept since 2004 and now the kitchen is minimal and perfectly functional, starting with the fittings in the drawer; they have internal dividers shaped as modular prisms. This kitchen gives its users great freedom. People's needs change as their lives change and a kitchen must be able to grow and change with those using it.
Can this system be adapted to small spaces?
Yes, of course because it is very roomy and the prism underpinning the whole kitchen structure can organise it in many different ways. We also applied this system to the walls and, indeed, the entire kitchen and every vertical part can be moved. We can put everything on the walls, including the appliances, and yet again this is a question of freedom. You can take a new photograph of the kitchen every day. It is a kitchen that forces people to be rational and essential...
The essential thing about Otl Aicher's teaching at the Ulm School of design was that the most important kitchen feature is its top, which lets you cook. The other things can all go on the wall (including the small appliances), at different heights.
What might the main materials be?
Aluminium, concrete, hi-tech plastic… Here, for instance, the top is concrete, just 10 mm thick. It is not a question of materials but of functionality and concept. This kitchen is pure function.
When will this vision be in production?
As soon as possible. We are waiting to see the reactions here in Milan but it could be within a year.