High end contemporary kitchens rely on square edges, flat surfaces, and a minimum of ornamentation. That puts pressure on the surfaces, shapes and materials to contribute to the architecture while also serving the very real functional needs. It’s also a given in modernist kitchens that most everything will have square edges. So cook top and range ventilation usually runs to blocky chimney hoods or tube hoods, sometimes a vent concealed in a soffit, or a downdraft that pops up only when needed. Then there is the high tech vent hood with a name that sounds like a fighter jet — AEG X69453 [top].
That installs vertically and hangs on the wall like a partially lowered awning. In this elegant kitchen, with its serious art collections on display, a pair of X69s (each 90 cm or about 36-inches long by 15-inches deep) were ganged together to service a large Gaggenau radiant cooktop plus the two-burner griddle unit nearby. In essence, the vent “hood” is six-feet long and yet it has no hulking presence. The effect is more like a piece of modern sculpture on the wall.
But how does it function? These are four-speed units with touch controls for the fan and halogen lights located in the small black rectangular panels in the center. Hot air that rises during cooking is extracted all around the units. Whether or not all the grooves and surfaces make these a bear to clean is hardly a concern for the owner of this kitchen, which also features a Bulthaup island and E15 bar stools. The stunning Foscarini “Chouchin” pendant lights were designed in 2011 by Ionna Vautrin, a rising star in the high-end European lighting world.
While I happen to believe that even traditional kitchens will continue to move towards this less embellished aesthetic and monochromatic palette in the future, this style is not a popular look here in America where we tend to cherish upper cabinets and complex Victorian-style kitchens to conceal all the clutter. But as Mies van der Rohe said, so prophetically, “less is more.”
(Source: Elle Décor)
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