Open kitchens

Since the 80s, the perfection of the extractor hood has once again allowed an open kitchen, more or less integrated with the living room without the entire apartment or house stinking. Before that, only a few previous experiments, typically in newly built upper-middle-class family homes, had open kitchens. Some examples are House Willey (1934) and House Jacobs (1936) by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Both had open kitchens, with high ceilings (up to the ceiling) and were ventilated by skylights. The extractor hood made it possible to create open kitchens even in apartments, where high ceilings and skylights were not possible.

The reintegration of the kitchen and the living room went hand in hand with a change in the perception of the kitchen: the kitchen was increasingly seen as a creative and sometimes social act rather than work. And there has been a rejection by younger homeowners of the standard suburban model of separate kitchens and dining rooms found in most homes from 1900-1950. Many families also appreciated the trend toward open kitchens, as it made it easier for parents to supervise children while they cooked and cleaned up spills. The high status of the kitchen has made the kitchen also a prestigious object to display wealth or culinary professionalism. Some architects have exploited this “object” aspect of the kitchen by designing independent “kitchen objects”. However, like their predecessor, the Colani “kitchen satellite”, these futuristic designs are exceptions.

Another reason for the return to open kitchens (and the foundation of the “kitchen object” philosophy) is changes in the way food is prepared. Whereas before the 1950s, most kitchens started with raw materials and food had to be prepared from scratch, the advent of frozen foods and ready meals changed the cooking habits of many people, who consequently consumed. every time less. The kitchen. For others, who followed the trend of “cooking as a social act”, the open kitchen had the advantage of being able to be with their guests while they cooked, and for “creative cooks” it could even become a stage for their culinary performance.

The “Trophy Kitchen” is equipped with very expensive and sophisticated appliances that are used primarily to impress visitors and project social status, rather than cooking.

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