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Kitchen as Functional Art for Anonymous Owner
Northern California USA

This project was constructed by the following Tsui Design and Research architectural interns and apprentices:

Project Foreman:
Mr. Chris Farmer, Berkeley, California

Metal and Furniture Fabrication:
Mr. Hugh Kilroy, Ireland and USA

Construction Team:
Mr. Matthew Amadio, London, England
Mr. Matt Bamford, Berkeley, California
Mr. Dave Cherry, Las Vegas, Nevada
Ms. Jaclyn Dab, Berkeley, California
Ms. Erin Fitch, Chicago, Illinois
Ms. Lesley Ho, Hong Kong, China
Ms. Angie Huss, Athens, Ohio
Ms. Elle Kalm, Estonia and Sweden
Ms. Caitlin Kannapell, Louisville, Kentucky
Mr. Tejas Kathiriya, Ahmedabad, India
Mr. Charlie Loy, Berkeley, California
Mr. Josh Marcus, Ithaca, New York
Ms. Sona Mesbahi, Baghdad, Iraq
Mr. Yevgeniy Ossipov, Odessa, Russia
Ms. Melissa Tapper, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mr. Andrew Townsend, Burlingame, Vermont



 KITCHEN AS FUNCTIONAL ART 2004 to 2005 Northern California USA

The kitchen space in any home is the central work space that literally sustains the occupants of a home. It has become the space where all the central activities, communication and relationships occur. It is the crossroads of all activities which take place in a home. Simply stated; it is the heart of the home.

A kitchen can also be these things and much more. For most, a kitchen is a hub-bub of activity, a work place, an area to create and produce. Given the nature of the space should we not take full advantage of our common historical notions of a kitchen and transform it into something uncommon and extraordinary?

There is an extraordinary woman who lives in northern California and wanted an extraordinary kitchen. The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is an individual who lives among works of art. Her life is surrounded by art works from different artists and she has a particular liking to certain colors--brownish orange, ochre yellows, deep reds and purples. The new kitchen replaced an existing kitchen that was a utility and work space consisting of a sink, floor cabinets, stove top and refrigerator. The owner wanted the kitchen to be express her sense of a life of art. Something that was different and lively.

The kitchen was conceived as a place full of life. Every detail is considered as a significant part of the whole. It has been said that, " there is more design per square inch than anywhere else in the world". And perhaps that is true--for every aspect of the space is a stunning, visual banquet of interest and jubilation.

The design intention was to understand the way people move and circulate around existing areas such as the stove, the sink, the dishwasher, the refrigerator, doorways, etc., and compose the circulation of the space in a way that is efficient, comfortable and convenient. The placement of work areas and the heights of cabinets, the angles of handles, the position of lighting fixtures, all are designed to accommodate the natural movements of the human body. In this way the kitchen is "alive" with the best aspects of functionality and emotional delight. It is a wonderland of color, form, reflectivity and surprise. A place for an individual with the heart of an artist.


Undulating steel pipe support for 1/2inch thick tempered glass, curving kitchen counter top.

Seating area of glass and bent wood painted cabinets with a chemical reactant paint to produce a rust surface.

Perforated seat backing and sink screen with lighting behind. Back lighting also makes the fiberglass kitchen sink glow with an ethereal light.

Sculpted built-in lighting.

Specially designed entrance and exit gates.

Soffit lighting with solid glass rocks that glow with light.

Glass blocks of varying shapes to create free-standing sculptural walls and partitions.

Hand cut perforated screen murals as window treatments.

Cantilevered circular wall display coves with hidden lighting to accent works of art.

Steel cable suspended glass counter top with undulating flexible aluminum electrical coils to a glass block and brushed copper grouping base.

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