Snaidero has updated Frame, its most flexible kitchen system, for 2017. Frame’s designer, architect Massimo Iosa Ghini, tells Azure how he devised the “carefully crafted harmony.”
Frame wasn’t designed with one aesthetic in mind. First presented by Snaidero at EuroCucina in Milan in 2014, the kitchen system was created for maximum versatility, with a plethora of finishes and features whose traditional elements have been given a contemporary twist.
“Frame is a simple and flexible system that allows you develop functional and aesthetic variations that are ideal for homeowners who enjoy mixing classic and modern,” says architect Massimo Iosa Ghini, Frame’s designer.
Cabinetry is characterized by classic framed doors, with recessed handles that add a modern flair and create a lean silhouette. Bold, oversized extractor hoods, a focal point, can be customized in bronze or stainless steel, complemented by other metal elements – in lacquered, bronze, stainless steel or pewter – that show up as points of visual interest between wall units, base units and cupboards.
The mix of open and closed elements imbues the system with creative possibility. The choice of open cupboards and sideboards with glass doors creates a more modern aesthetic, while a selection of closed cabinetry produces a traditional look.
Frame is new and improved for 2017, featuring the addition of a standalone cabinet with glass doors and a variety of new finishes that expand the already wide array of customizations available, making it one of Snaidero’s most adaptable offerings.
“Kitchens must be designed down to every detail, so they can adapt to the user’s functional needs and lifestyle preferences,” Iosa Ghini says. “It can be an elegant way of personalizing the home; something that will stand as an expression of the homeowners.”
Azure recently spoke with Iosa Ghini about his design for Snaidero. Here’s what he had to say.
How do you approach kitchen design?
The “must haves” of kitchen design are: efficiency, comfort, and stimulation. As a living space, the kitchen must be functional, first and foremost. It must meet the needs of those who use it. As our lifestyles become more “tailor made,” our homes must follow suit. That’s why we are designing cabinet systems that are technically advanced and can be customized based on the individual’s needs and personality.
At the same time, it is important to design solutions that can increase our wellbeing, both objectively and on a perceptual level. It is for this reason that environmentally-conscious and sustainable choices – like the use of recyclable materials and non-toxic paints – have become a no-brainer. On the design front, durability and quality craftsmanship are two things that contribute to a higher quality of life.
You’re an architect. Did you apply architectural principles to your design of Frame?
“From the spoon to the town,” said Italian architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers. My Frame design can be seen as a complex architecture of full and empty (closed and open spaces) to address the functional relationships between different parts of the kitchen, bringing them together in harmony. The steel structure defines the design, both functionally and aesthetically, making an appearance in select spots of the base and upper cabinets, the island and the pantry units.
What sets your kitchen apart from other systems in the market?
Furniture with a “frame,” with open shelving, for example, is very popular right now. However, my Frame kitchen design utilizes this concept as part of the whole cabinetry system and not just for standalone piece of furnitures.
As a designer and architect, my cultural background is influenced by post-modernism; meaning, a vision of the future that includes the past. So, I’ve never been particularly attracted to the idea of a “superior style” like minimalism, or a design approach that aims for total abstraction. I am more for what I call a “carefully crafted harmony” – a rich kitchen design fusing different elements and cultural influences, which I think is closer to a real, human space. I prefer the thoughtful combination of the dry industrial style with neoclassical elements than a single, rigorous style.
What was your goal when designing Frame?
Frame aims to lighten the visual load of its design elements and reduce the quantity of raw material being used for the kitchen. It’s an approach that has both economic and environmental sustainability in mind and the choice of having handle-free cabinet doors goes along with that.
However, that doesn’t mean compromising on the quality of material and finishes. The modular frame elements in stainless steel, along with their supporting shelves, have been designed for a lower environmental impact: they are manufactured through minimal welding and polishing, leaving them “bare” without any varnishing.
Frame is adaptable to many different styles and tastes. How did you ensure that?
Think of Frame as the alphabet: it is composed of a set of essential elements that can be combined together to define very different ways of living – from large, luxurious compositions for “showcase” type homes to more compact solutions for smaller but functional spaces.
The character of the kitchen will be strongly influenced by the percentage of full versus empty (closed versus open) elements. For example, if the homeowners want an elegant kitchen to go with an overall classical home furnishing style, then they should go with a prevalence of full (closed) cabinets. On the contrary, if they want a more contemporary kitchen to match the rather industrial look of the home, the open frame elements should prevail in the design.
The ultimate feel is determined by choosing the right finish from the wide selection of lacquers, metals, and natural woods that is available.
This content was published by Azure on behalf of Snaidero USA.