One of the most difficult things in design is to reinvent—to deconstruct something that is functionally familiar and giving it a facelift with a more innovative appearance. Modern kitchens nowadays are superimposed with a horizontal image. However, for Belgian architect Glenn Sestig, the new kitchen design for interiors brand Obumex does not have to conform to the typical model. Breaking away from the glossy and horizontal planes is a monolithic and minimal volume of stone that makes up the “Signature Kitchen”. Two vertical columns frame the entire space while acting as a cupboard and a corresponding sink. Lines of indentations run across this object to lighten up the structure, lessening the heavy material. The hived-pattern across stone slabs also contribute to this weightlessness, giving an elegance to the edgy design. Upon studying this marvel further, I come to appreciate the contrast between masculinity and femininity that the designer has created. Function and aesthetic have come together to create a neutral harmony. Signature Kitchen, with its fitting name, demands to be the central focus in a dwelling. Considered one of the forgotten spaces within the house, with Glenn Sestig’s new design, the kitchen is no longer the underdog.
Located at the end of a cul-de-sac of a private ski club is Alta Chalet in Collinwood, Ontario. The project, designed by AKB – Atelier Kastelic Buffey, is a dazzling example of contemporary design with a touch of Nordic charm infused to a winter weekend retreat. The monochromatic façade alternates between black and white geometry, thus assuring a strong sense of contrast whether in summer or wintertime. One of the main prerogatives is to celebrate the gorgeous sceneries around the chalet, as the architects wittingly invert the usual program. The upper floor benefits from a living and dining area, an open concept kitchen, with the bonus of a private den alongside a hefty outdoor deck. On the opposite level, is the main entrance skilfully masked behind a partially enclosed screen opposite a large, functional mudroom adjoining a double garage. Additionally, on the ground floor, stands the master suite, the additional bedrooms and the sauna. All in all, a complete dwelling ready for full time residency if necessary. Designed with delicate sensitivity to the scale of its neighbouring houses, this project is well integrated into its context while it also offers a distinct interpretation of a conventional ski chalet. — AKB The interior design deserves the last accolades, as natural wood is present in all rooms as the floor, but also through carefully employed furniture design pieces. Unlike many minimalist projects that often serve as a visual intervention in their vicinity, Alta Chalet brings fresh blood to the archetypal barn typology.