Within the brutalist architectural icon of London’s Barbican Estate, this refurbished kitchen by Francisco Sutherland pairs oak veneer with stainless steel to create a visually stunning and highly practical space.
Within the brutalist architectural icon of London’s Barbican Estate, this refurbished kitchen pairs oak veneer with stainless steel to create a visually stunning and highly practical space.
In 2017, architect Ana Sutherland, of Francisco Sutherland, designed an oak mezzanine to slot into the barrel-vaulted ceiling of one of the estate’s top floor triplex apartments. Four years later she was invited by the client to return and design a new kitchen and dining area in the same residency.
Following on from the warm quality of the oak used for the mezzanine project, the kitchen brief was to use the same key material, complemented by stainless steel worktops.
A fresh look at modern history
In the refurbished kitchen, solid forms echoing those of the vast concrete structure of the Barbican are interrupted by more delicate, tactile detailing. These are largely influenced by the interior spaces and furniture of Les Arcs – a 1960s ski resort designed by renowned French architect Charlotte Perriand.
As the kitchen-dining area is quite compact, it was important to provide plenty of storage space and maximise the length of the room. The original spatial layout has been retained, constrained by communal services, but by adding a new full-height storage unit, the cooking area now flows seamlessly into the dining room. Objects can be stored behind the latticed screen of concealed doors, contributing to a sense of calm and spaciousness.
Wall units above the cooking area have been removed and replaced with open, slatted shelves – of the same detail as the lattice cupboard doors – to reveal the room’s white wall and increase the sense of depth.
Individually chosen, mismatched oak veneer panels bring a natural variety of markings to the wood elements, creating an appealing, softened aesthetic.