MVRDV has designed a fully transparent kitchen for Kitchen Home Project, a satellite event at this year’s Venice Biennale, focusing on living and the home environment. Kitchen Home Project was initiated by Weng Ling of the Beijing Centre for the Arts (BCA), and also features works by Kengo Kuma and the Hong Kong-based media artist Au Yeung Ying Chai. MVRDV’s proposal, “Infinity Kitchen,” imagines the next stage of kitchen design, creating counters, shelving, cabinets, and faucets entirely out of glass – the metaphor being that a see-through environment will add greater transparency to the food being made in the kitchen, and make inhabitants more aware food choices, cleanliness, and the culinary experience.
“If we imagine everything is transparent clear and clean, doesn’t it mean that the only thing that is colourful and visible is our food,” posits MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “Doesn’t it then imply that we are encouraged to love the food, in that way, and that maybe it even becomes more healthy, if not sexy?”
As outlined by MVRDV, the Infinity Kitchen proposal “takes the typical modern day modular kitchen and looks at progressing the typology to improving the culinary experience and challenging the immense, yet generic, kitchen industry.” The project seeks to add scrutiny to what is one of our most essential spaces, adding awareness to stored quantities of food, the amount of waste we are creating, and the level of cleanliness of the space, all the while celebrating the joy of food and cooking. By eliminating a division between beauty and ugliness, the Infinity Kitchen gives control to the user.
“I see this as part of a wider dream, this kitchen. It is part of an environment, if not a city, that is transparent and therefore accessible,” says Maas, “Imagine if not only our kitchens were transparent, but the walls through to the neighbour and the next neighbour even. This would create infinite perspectives in our cities. It would make within our claustrophobic environments possibly a view, into the direction of the mountains or the sea.”
This new strategy of clarity is already visible in MVRDV’s project Crystal Houses, a Chanel boutique in Amsterdam, where traditional bricks in the facade have been selectively replaced with glass substitutes. The practice has also designed an office in Hong Kong with glass interiors, furniture, and equipment, that will open June 1.
Participating in the Kitchen Home Project, MVRDV extends the office’s commitment to both Asian and European architecture. Working closely with Weng Ling from the Beijing Centre for the Arts, MVRDV is extending a collaboration with the BCA dating back to 2002 on projects focused on the urban environment and culture. Opening today, the Kitchen Home Project will be on view at Università IUAV di Venezia Ca’ Tron until September 30.