Light Box 3
To redesign a large loft for a family of four, architect Katherine Chia was asked to create a space that was modern, innovative and high performance. Working in the medical and financial professions, the family enjoys relaxing by entertaining family and friends, cooking Italian food and gourmet meals. "They described the kitchen as a place for cooking, baking, homework and dining as well as a hinge of communication with adjacent dining and living spaces," says Chia. "The challenge—was introducing materials and lighting that would help to illuminate the space."
Abandoning traditional light fixtures, Chia created light by merging form and function. She made the kitchen's rear wall one side of a freestanding core that houses a pantry, coatroom and powder room, with a 38-inch border of glass on the top that carries the eye through the volume and visually opens up the entire apartment. Light also filters into living spaces through the volume's faceted ash wood skin and translucent pantry doors. Satin aluminum and ash wood cabinetry and sealed concrete flooring add warm patinas. At night, the luminous glow of the space is particularly captivating, like a lantern. "Transparence or translucence can bring a compelling sense of depth to a space," Chia observes, "allowing light to become part of the design."
A 24-foot island with stainless steel top and sides divides the space, and affords generous, efficient storage as well as a place for serving or doing homework. With sliding pantry doors open, another 15 feet of full-depth counter space is available; closed, the doors conceal messy pots and pans, so hosts and guests may carry on in blissful ignorance of any clean up. "The Sub-Zero and Wolf are streamlined and elegant with a minimal profile that reinforces the clean lines and flow of the space," says Chia. "Being very interested in casual and gourmet-level cooking, the Wolf five-burner cooktop and Wolf 30-inch double oven fulfill those needs as well."