Seems they were pretty much up to the challenge! What do you think?
The structure features a continuous grip-recess in polished aluminium, which facilitates door opening. The curved base units in the middle unit are produced as a single mould, which slides open and houses various functional accessories inside.
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The cars were Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and BMW. The kitchens have names like Bulthaup and Poggenpohl. Like the cars, they are luxuriant, with an exclusive air, and expensive.
The wall becomes an integral part of the concept. Frames in aluminium emphasise the linearity of the architecture and organise available space. Each of the illuminating frames defines a space within the space. Inside this space, in- dividual modules can be sited at any chosen position. There is no necessity to arrange elements in a row. The strategy incorporates open spaces accentuated with back panels in either satinised or polished glass. Contrasting in colour and material with the fronts, they form an additional plane in the room.
Innovatively designed, high-tech, ergonomic, versatile and multifunctional. The Flux kitchen, born of Scavolini’s vast experience and the inspired genius of a master of design, expresses a new kitchen lifestyle: dynamic, young, and open to the world and all its novelties.
In fact, the business is catching on so quickly that the biggest challenge facing companies like Poggenpohl is to keep their designs distinct in the marketplace.
“Now, especially in the last five or six years,” Mr. Birkenfeld said, “we are being copied faster than we can develop.”
And thanks to the spread of these über-kitchens and their high-end American counterparts like the cabinet maker Wood-Mode, European appliances have also been marching steadily into the American home. Companies like Bosch-Siemens and Miele are thriving.
One of the Germans’ marketing strategies seems to be to rarely make specific concessions to local American tastes. “We build for the world,” said Lothar C. Birkenfeld, president of Poggenpohl U.S., in a telephone interview from Fairfield, N.J., where the company’s American operations are based. “We’re like Mercedes: they build a car the same for China or for Paris.”
“There are luxury high rises going up from Florida to Chicago, with apartments starting at $1 million,” Mr. Birkenfeld said, and he expects Poggenpohl to capture a sizable share of those dollars.
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Poggenpohl, Mr. Birkenfeld said, enjoyed vigorous growth in its first decade in the United States after entering North America in 1976. But business became more competitive as domestic kitchen builders and others from abroad responded with their own stylish, functional designs.
We thought it was a bit of an oddity to have kitchens designed by sports car makers when we first brought you news on Giugiaro designing kitchens for Scavolini but we are genuinely surprised to see this as a hot trend these days. We say this because Italian car maker Pininfarina has designed kitchens for Snaidero, Porsche has rendered services for Poggenpohl, and even Lamborghini for Pedini.
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Ola has been an emblem of Made in Italy and a symbol of Italian design all over the world ever since. It is an inviting kitchen, with bold, exciting and innovative forms. It appeals to particularly demanding, keen on ergonomics consumers, looking for a specific product which matches functionalism with design.
The search for innovative products is ongoing. Here in Berlin, Siemens — which together with Bosch makes Siemens, Bosch, Gaggenau and Thermador appliances — has developed a kitchen in which remote controls enable the homemaker to turn on or off ovens, stoves, dishwashers and even a coffee pot created by the sports car maker Porsche.
Trendy shades for an absolutely unique kitchen. The composition with curved base and wall units cannot fail to surprise with its unusual colour and sophisticated alternation of pale grey gloss lacquered and metallic purple gloss lacquered fi nishes on the base and wall units. The kitchen’s strong identity is further underlined by the little satin-fi nish metal handles and the breakfast bar with metallic support.
All this is well, but if you are wondering how successful could car designers be in designing kitchens, we suggest you take a look at their work below and decide for yourself.
Anne-Kathrin Berends, who guides visitors through the kitchen, plugged a device the size of a BlackBerry into an electrical outlet. A small screen gave information about all the appliances. “It will tell me when the coffee is finished, for instance,” Ms. Berends said, “and how cold the freezer is.”
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Slow sales of furniture at home, including kitchen cabinets, which in Europe are designed to be moved from one house to another, are a main force behind the German kitchen makers’ expansion overseas.
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Scavolini entrusted non other than Fabrizio Giugiaro for designing their ‘Flux’ set of kitchens. For the unintiated, Giugiaro is one of Italy’s powerhouses in design, renowned world over for its contribution to the automotive industry and Fabrizio himself was instrumental in designing the 2006 Ford Mustang.
Franz J. Bosshard, president of BSH Home Appliance, the North American division of a joint venture by Bosch and Siemens, the German electrical companies, said that North America, as the world’s largest home appliance market, naturally attracted the Germans.
This year, Poggenpohl, once a family-owned business that was acquired in 2000 by Nobia of Sweden, expects its sales in the United States to climb to $50 million, making this country its largest export market, up from $2 million a decade ago.
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BERLIN – First they put their cars in American garages, now they’re putting their kitchens in American homes.
Perhaps the most promising market for the European cabinet and appliance makers is supplying builders of upscale residential towers.
Other related interior design ideas you might like… Kitchens from a Sports Car DesignerLuxurious Kitchens from PediniUnique DUNE kitchen range from PediniInspirational Kitchen Designs From Alno
So, what do you think about these kitchens? Tell us in the comments.
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At first glance, the German share of the United States market appears to be trifling. Imports of German kitchen appliances totaled $59.5 million in 2004, against a total market of about $4.5 billion, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, based in Washington. But because shipping a large, bulky appliance is relatively expensive, many German-label appliances are now made in America, so they do not show up in the import figures.
These high-end German companies have been a presence in the United States for a while, of course. But their recent expansion into more homes, coinciding with the invasion of foreign appliance manufacturers — everything from the Chinese company Haier at the low end to the German companies Miele and Bosch at the high end — is shaking up the American market for kitchens and appliances. That market was once the near exclusive domain of traditional cabinet makers and domestic brands like General Electric and Whirlpool.
The manufacturers stand out in the crowded market by connecting with earlier German design movements. “Design is not for design’s sake,” said Vanessa Trost, the spokeswoman for Gaggenau, an appliance unit of Siemens. “We are in the Bauhaus tradition: every element of design has to fulfill a function.”
Consumers pay more for such styling and cachet, of course, sometimes a lot more. Some Miele dishwasher models, for instance, sell for up to $1,900. Poggenpohl kitchens start at about $25,000, average $45,000, and go up from there.
A striking, contemporary composition with metallic red gloss lacquered doors, combined with steel worktops and wall claddings. The base and wall units, with curved doors, have visible aluminium-colour carcase. The circular cooking zone, including a base unit with revolving basket and cylindrical hood with mat black lacquered wings, is also eye-catching. The steel sink is integral with the worktop.
The Bosch-Siemens group began exporting dishwashers to the United States in 1991. In 1998, Bosch Siemens bought the American appliance maker Thermador. By last year, it had five factories in the United States. “The majority of the appliances are German engineered,” Mr. Bosshard said, “but manufactured here.”
The entire body of the kitchen, in “Wood”, is arranged around the island, with its rational appeal and highly original dynamic, curved shape. The sinuous, ergonomic lines of base and wall units make it easy to organise storage space effectively. The base units have roomy pull-out big baskets, while the fl ap doors of the wall units mean more space inside.
To be sure, the American makers still enjoy a vast home field advantage. But homeowners who once preferred Formica counters, linoleum floors and white appliances are increasingly opting for the Euro look: straight lines, expensive wood veneers, granite countertops and sparkling stainless steel.
The makers of Euro kitchens have lifted a chapter from the Mercedes and BMW playbook, focusing on smart design, quality materials and innovative technology to appeal to the same upper-income consumers.
“The image is of a very well-designed, well-made, functional product,” Mr. Bosshard said of German kitchen products. “That is what is helping us.”
And here is a bonus video where Fabrizio Giugiaro talks about the challenge involved in the project: (Those reading this by e-mail, please visit the following link to view the video: http://www.home-designing.com/2008/12/kitchen-designs-scavolini )
The curved doors on base and wall units are produced with special high-density â€œBaydurâ€ moulds. This polyurethane material provides the soft shapes that characterize this kitchen.
Other related interior design ideas you might like… More Kitchens from Sports Car MakersModern Wall UnitsUnique DUNE kitchen range from PediniModern Wall Units From Momentoitalia
The Integra by Tonino Lamborghini is classy and elegant, actually is a makeover by the designer. It is based on the outline of Pedini’s signature Integra Hook Kitchen. Yes, the Integra kitchen has an added touch of leather paneling and doors. The functionality of the kitchen is enhanced with sleek curved worktops that will motivate even the laziest of men to make some mouth watering meal for their wives. The Integra is available in the basic black, cream and, of course, Lamborghini’s signature yellow. You would have to pay around $103,000 to get Integra installed in your very own home.
The carcase of the flat -door base units is characterised by an innovative channel system, allowing the doors to operate without handles.
The stakes are rising. Americans are expected to spend $79 billion to remodel kitchens this year, a 16 percent leap from last year, according to Lyle Landon, publisher of Kitchen and Bath Business.
Miele, a family-controlled company with annual revenue of about 2.2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), has grown even more spectacularly in North America, with sales about $180 million last year, up from $15 million a decade earlier.
Business Day | PERSONAL BUSINESS The American Kitchen, by Way of Germany
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“There are a lot of new companies, and that gives the consumer a lot of choices,” said Jill A. Notini, a spokeswoman for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. “I tend to think that all are design-focused and focused on innovation.”
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The German kitchen makers say their real competitors are not other appliance and cabinet makers, since they view their trophy kitchens as just another play area in the modern household. “When people think about buying a car or taking a cruise,” said Hans-Joachim Adler, director of the Modern Kitchen, an industry development group in the western German city of Mannheim, “a new kitchen is another alternative.”
“The United States and North America belong to our high-growth regions,” said Theodor Siepert, a spokesman for Miele. “We even have innovations, like a 30-inch oven developed especially for the American Thanksgiving turkey.”
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