What’s in your kitchen?! We toured Salone del mobile and surrounding events to identify some of the most interesting kitchens with connected features and paid a visit to The Restaurant by Caesarstone and Tom Dixon.
So much to see and so little time! We decided to put together a map of the hottest design districts and pinpoint amazing products and people we discovered. Check it out.
We cover the story behind David Chipperfield’s Città delle Culture museum and gallery complex in Milan or “The War of the Floor.” Other goodies include newly released acoustics products, a focus on some of the most beautiful faucets by Axor and others and more. Don’t miss a continuation of our In Time piece with interviews of designers in Milan during the fair.
Smart kitchen technology has become increasingly prominent, relevant and accessible, as evidenced by the availability of smart fridges, plates, coffee makers, scales, cookers and more.
Our relationship with food is continually evolving. As an example, in the Table for Living—a Concept Kitchen 2025 prototype—a camera...
ArchiExpo reports on some of the top events during Milan Design Week. The new Space & Interiors exhibition in the Brera Design District offered information on products from dyed wood surfaces to safety doors and door locks with a high security system. The exhibition Rooms: Novel Living Concepts at Triennale di Milano combined a series of rooms, each designed by a different architect.
The ongoing Meditation exhibition in Sant’ambrogio includes the work of twelve Chinese designers. Catch information on the Tree Talk by Svensk Form with Sweden designers that took place at Salone Internazionale del Mobile.
W.Products presented its Tapeto tiles in Ventura Lambrate and AGC Glass displayed its Dragontrail™ product in the Amorphous installation at Superstudio; while Reply set up a Design Thinking Lab in Tortona called The Smart Park.
Click on the points below for more information on each event.
Following last year’s well-received exhibition The Cinema, Tom Dixon spices up the design plate for visitors in The Restaurant. In partnership with leading quartz manufacturer Caesarstone, Dixon has designed four Caesarstone kitchens and dining halls for the delight of guests.
The Restaurant delivers a unique food...
Where everyone who’s anyone on the international furniture design and manufacturing scene come together: Salon del Mobile. ArchiExpo spins around the fair’s extensive bathroom exhibition to get a glimpse of the latest products to compile a list of the top style trends.
Looking behind the rituals of cleanliness, bathroom products portray the essential. Level with this intention, Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola‘s bathtub, Cuna, devised for the Italian company Agape.
The shape of the vessel was thermoformed using Solid-surface, a water-resistant material composed of marble dust, bauxite, acrylic, epoxy or polyester resins and pigments. The tub’s compact and rounded shape is accentuated by a tubular, steel frame.
Cuna by Patricia Urquiola. Courtesy of Agape
Just as stylish, Italian design brand Ex.t exposed Sebastian Herkner‘s brand-new, oval-formed collection, Plateau. Sitting on the brim of each sink, bathtub and mirror is a slim tray, which the designer calls a “sidetracking plateau.” This intuitive detail exerts a certain poetry. The collection is fabricated with the non-toxic, Livingtec material.
Plateau by Sebastian Herkner. Courtesy of Ex-t.
A gentle ambience is found in Rexa’s new collection, Hammam, designed by Monica Graffeo. The collection is crafted with a material composed of clay with Corian or marble. These brand-new washbasins pitch a soft and peaceful wholeness, inspired by a Japanese concept symbolizing the bathroom as a space of self-care.
Hammam. Courtesy of Monica Graffeo.
Alongside practicality and meaning, bathroom design materials are dedicated a local essence.The recent collection Isole, designed by Marco Piva for Lithea, presents forms seized from the Sicilian, Baroque era. Gleaning inspiration from the beauty of the Mediterannean landscape, the basins and washstands are made of stone with attachments made of iron.
Isole, designed by Marco Piva for Lithea. Courtesy of the designer.
Boldness meets tactility Ritmonio‘s 2016 release two new faucet handles made of concrete: a new version of Inox Diametro35 and HAPTIC, each with a concrete top. Designed by Ritmonio DesignLAB, the handles are available for basins, bidets, showers and bathtubs. Haptic offers a choice of chrome or nickel finishings, or a concrete handle without lever. Diametro35 Concrete combines stainless steel with concrete handles.
Diametro35. Courtesy of Ritmonio.
The statement comes forth in cleanliness design. Axor design studio presented the current 2016 selection of their ongoing (20 years running) Waterdream Project at the FuoriSalone. The venture invites designers to reconsider the function of a spout.Watersteps by the Swedish duo Front, andThe Sea and the Shore by Werner Aisslinger exceeded the ordinary. Watersteps portrays the acoustic quality of water, with two metal spouts in the form of inverted cymbals. The Sea and the Shore illustrates it’s title with a clay shelf holding greenery that acts as a shore aside it’s water-spout (sea).
An addition to our “In Time” pieces, we covered the FuoriSalone to check out the three design districts starting from Lambrate to Brera and finally ending at the bustling Tortona area.
We began the early morning rush, visiting the collaborative space Money, Meat & Plastic Surgery. It featured the creations of Bora Hong, Rolf Bruggink and Isaac Monté who unveiled a unique collection of hearts encased in glass containers called The Art of Deception; a very interesting glimpse on the creative minds of these three designers, aiming to instill their respective social causes in their art.
We hopped into the next exhibition in Lambrate and caught up with the owner of Ateliers Zelij, Samir Mazer. Sculptural pieces of gold and colored ceramic tiles welcomed us as we spoke with Mazer on their ceramic pieces, exclusively created for Milan Design Week.
Designer Giacomo Garziano of GG Loop was also in the midst of the buzz in Lambrate. He talked to us about molecules and bacteria and how they all relate to the design of his modular collection of couches and table.
Last stop: Brera District where we met designer Gordon Guillaumier and caught sight of his new collection for Ceramiche Piemme. Attending the opening at 6 p.m. was a treat as we saw an actual carpenter’s workshop in the space, featuring the new ceramic collection of Guillaumier. We chatted with the designer over a first round of aperitivo served during the opening.
All exclusive information in the timeline below.
*In Time: Interviews conducted and words by Vanessa Liwanag; selection of designers by Online Managing Editor of ArchiExpo e-Magazine, Erin Tallman.
David Chipperfield’s Museo Della Cultura (Mudec), a repurposed steel factory on the outskirts of Milan, has won praises for its spare industrial aesthetic. The 60 million-euro project, a series of zinc clad boxy buildings arrayed around a curved glass structure, opened in March of last year. However, the long-running conflict between Chipperfield and Milan’s Assessore alla Cultura, known to locals at the “floor war,” appears to be still unresolved.
The architect and Milan’s Assessore alla Cultura have been trading barbs over the flooring at the museum since 2013, when the agency’s officials notified Chipperfield that they were installing a floor different from the one that the architect had specified—Basaltina—lava stone sourced from an area near the ancient city of Viterbo in central Italy, which the architect already has used in his designs for Dolce & Gabbana boutiques throughout the world. Basaltina lava stone is known for its subtle coloring and texture and it also has been used in Gae Aulenti’s New Asian Art Museum and the Vatican Museums. However, according to Italy’s L’Expresso magazine, in order to save money, the city of Milan chose instead to use an Etna lava stone from Sicily.
Many observers have noted that much of the approximately 5,000 meters of Etna lava stone that ended up getting laid at Mudec is scratched and stained, with misaligned pieces.
Damaged floor. Courtesy of Huffington Post.
For Chipperfield, the floor replacement is a design desecration of the first order and he has offered to forego part of his fee to remediate the situation. “It is regrettable that the floor has been laid in an unacceptable quality,” Chipperfield stated in a 2015 letter to the mayor of Milan, adding, “Unless there is a positive common resolution, I believe the reputation of the project and the future of the Mudec will be contaminated.”
However, the Assessore alla Cultura has accused Chipperfield of “incomprehensible inflexibility” in attempts to reach a resolution.
Some critics have been more forgiving. “The floors are horrible, they are streaky and uneven and unworthy of a David Chipperfield building,” the architectural writer Fred Bernstein wrote in a Huffington Post blog last year.
However, although he found shortcomings in the floor, Bernstein encouraged Chipperfield not to disown the building, writing, “You should embrace the building anyway. Because it’s wonderful. So wonderful that no one will be looking down.”