Minimalism in the Kitchen

Form follows function in new generation systems that maximize efficiency, ergonomics, and aesthetics
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Minimalist Kitchen Creates Community for Artists

A minimalist kitchen in an old farm building is the hub of an artist community.

Photo courtesy of bulthaup

On an estate in southwest France, four former agricultural buildings were transformed to artists’ studios, with a large communal kitchen that serves as the center of artistic and community life. The original configuration of the kitchen and dining area has been recreated in a contemporary form. A 6-meter-long kitchen island with stainless steel worktop is complemented by a large table with a variety of chairs. No tall units were used. A multifunctional wall holds all the necessary appliances and utensils. The result is a living space with the character of a loft in which people can cook, eat, work, and—last but not least—party.

The wood selected for the fronts of the kitchen cabinets is a rarely used and difficult-to-work-with apple veneer. But as the building stands in the midst of an orchard, selection of the apple wood was a desirable way to reference the surrounding land. Extra care was taken with the veneer to give it a characteristic planked finish. The aluminum wall panels, the concrete floor, and the planked apple cabinet fronts create an exciting visual contrast within the room.


A House Built On a Hill

The kitchen in this contemporary house near Barcelona looks like it emanates from the wall.

Photo courtesy of bulthaup

In designing a house built on a hillside near Barcelona, architect Arturo Frediani sought to have the building fit harmoniously with its surroundings in a way that none of its neighbors would lose their view of the sea. Satisfying the client’s request for a room that opened out onto the landscape, but maintained privacy in a contemporary way, Frediani chose to make the kitchen the hub of the home. A dining area, a comfortable living area with bookshelves and hearth, and a separate office area all adjoin the kitchen. The large windows draw nature into the room, literally creating a spacious living area. The kitchen looks as though it emanates from the wall, with its laser-edged white laminate fronts complemented by the seamlessly finished worktop. A wall-hung oak bench, and matching table and chairs continue this well-thought-out interior design.


Meeting Aesthetic, Ergonomic, and Sustainability Goals

Today, the kitchen is the hub of the home, and ideally an aesthetic, comfortable environment in which to cook and entertain. Minimalist kitchens offer the benefits of high-style and ergonomically designed work areas within a space so lightweight it seems to “float.” By making all work and storage spaces within easy reach, by taking advantage of an active wall and maximizing the space between the countertop and the wall unit, and providing drawers and pull-outs with a system to shape, structure, and fill the interior space, minimal kitchens bring a new level of intuitive function to a traditional area. People are able to easily configure and reconfigure systems and accessories according to their changing needs, succeeding in the minimalist tenet of doing more with less. The fact that this attribute is also consistent with sustainability goals is an added advantage, and one that is increasingly necessary in the face of today's pressing concerns of global warming and climate change.


bulthaup's signature kitchens are revered for their clean lines, ergonomic layout, and precision German engineering and manufacturing—all fundamental to creating timeless living spaces that are meant to be used. The company's systems suit any aesthetic or environment and strike a perfect balance between the home's architecture and the way one lives.



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Originally published in Architectural Record
Originally published in June 2013