Gaggenau and its pursuit of excellence

Sven Baacke, Head of Global Design, talks about the German company’s perspective on the kitchen: a constantly evolving space that still retains its essence as the place of conviviality par excellence.

“What we seek in our products is pleasure in the use, joy of aesthetics, and perfect integration,” says Sven Baacke, Head of Global Design at Gaggenau, defining the identity of the high-end brand specializing in professional-inspired appliances for home kitchens. Inspired by the needs of professional chefs, Gaggenau seamlessly integrates professional kitchen technologies into our homes. Their current extensive offering includes ovens, combi-steam and microwave ovens, espresso machines, Vario specialty appliances for teppan yaki and grill cooking, glass ceramic, gas, and induction cooktops, hoods and fridges, climate-controlled wine cellars, and dishwashers.

“We design and develop products that strive to become iconic while ensuring lasting functionality. Even after years of use, they will bring a smile to your face while using them for what they were intended for. They represent excellence in both aesthetics and performance, inspiring your everyday life,” says Baacke.

Established in 1683, the company holds steadfast to both respect for traditions and a constant desire to innovate, setting new standards in the domestic kitchen industry with its products. “Although many of our manufacturing processes require automation and precise machinery, it’s the human touch, the hand finishing, that gives a soul to our products. Certain crucial steps in our production can only be achieved manually,” the designer shares with Domus. “Gaggenau began as an ironworking forge – and even today, steel and stainless steel remain some of our favorite materials in terms of durability, precision, and aesthetics. Today we dye it anthracite or black, at times for safety reasons. Behind the development of each of our products, there is a very diverse group of engineers, designers, architects, chefs, researchers, and many other professionals harnessing their individual knowledge to create exceptional results.”

Sven Baacke, Head of Global Design of Gaggenau

Throughout its centuries-long history, Gaggenau has reacted to significant shifts in our domestic life, particularly the way we conceive cooking and the rituals associated with the kitchen. “While we still gather around the fireplace as we did a hundred years ago, today’s fire is – sometimes – digital. Nowadays, our dining and drinking options are diverse, from eating outdoors to ordering a full meal or just the ingredients with a simple click online. The past burden of cooking for the whole family on a daily basis has changed, and taking the time to prepare a meal, for friends and family, has become a luxury,” explains Sven Baacke. “Kitchens have transformed into more open spaces perfectly integrated with the rest of our homes. However, this evolution brings back attention to the table and kitchen block, where social interactions and cherished moments unfold. I am excited by the idea of bringing back the kitchen as a central area of the house where everything happens. We can envision, for example, products that merge the functionality of a dining table and the kitchen block. Through our work, we can eliminate technical and mental constraints, giving architects and designers the freedom to craft and offer spaces that truly resonate with the lifestyle of our clients.”

What sets Gaggenau apart? The perfect fusion of performance and aesthetics, the meticulous selection of top-notch materials and craftsmanship, the flexibility given to the designers through an adaptable modular system, and the ability to streamline design while preserving the essence of the products. Baacke comments on the company’s approach, stating that, “Even within minimal and essential design, there can be a sense of authorship and uniqueness. Behind the subtlety and simplicity of a design lies a unique identity and compelling presence. This is similar to the work of designers who embrace minimalism, whose creations possess a distinct language, one that is both recognizable and memorable.”

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