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Kitchens are an architectural expression of our domestic living habits. Today, activities that were once subdivided and slotted into separate quarters are now merged into one.
As the boundaries between kitchens, living rooms and dining areas are increasingly blurred, designers are becoming ever more radical with their detailing. We are witnessing kitchens that are completely concealed behind folding doors, while others possess island surfaces so thin that it’s hard to believe their faucet attachments will actually release water. This obsession with driving kitchen elements out of sight is making sophisticated kitchen design more imperative than ever.
Manufacturing process; images via Toncelli
Toncelli is one brand that is stepping up to the challenge. With 50 years’ experience in creating unique inimitable products, the Italian kitchen company is renowned for its experimentation with new composites, investment in material research and continual delivery of solutions that are unknown to the industry.
While the manufacturers are rooted in Tuscany’s traditional wooden handicraft, they offer innovative product lines finished in wood, cement, metal, marble, carbon fiber and natural regenerated leather. Through merging innovation and tradition, their ultra-streamlined architectural kitchen islands are standouts among industry competitors.
Toncelli Wind in marble; image via Toncelli
With the Invisible range, Toncelli introduced carbon fiber — a material commonly used in complex aerospace engineering products — to the industry. Made up of a combination of woven filaments and a carbon matrix, the innovative composite is remarkably light, micro-thin and strong while guaranteeing resistance to changes in temperature, oxidization, rust and water.
In addition, the material’s aesthetic prestige ensures the possibility of unique sculptural shapes, which are further enhanced by Invisible’s push-to-open cabinetry.
Toncelli Invisible features carbon fiber surfaces, a built-in touchscreen surface and push-to-open cabinetry; image via Toncelli.
Beyond material complexity, the design’s most striking feature is the touchscreen surface, which is seamlessly integrated into the suspended black work surface. Designed for technologically savvy home chefs, the futuristic kitchen picks up on the trend of tablet computers migrating to the kitchen and then takes it to the extreme.
Similar technology was also integrated into Toncelli’s Prisma kitchen — the manufacturer’s first middle-market design, which was developed with experienced design consultancy Experientia. The work surface featured Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet.
Toncelli Essence features cabinetry composed of petrified wood; image via Toncelli.
With Essence — Toncelli’s most recent line of kitchen products — the manufacturers honed an invaluable, unique mineral process of fossilization in order to produce the wood for their designs. Petrified wood or “wood turned into stone” is a unique compound formed when wood is buried and cut off from an oxygen supply.
As the plant’s lignin decays, stone is formed in its place. Unlike other fossils that take the shape of impressions, petrified wood is fossilized in its original three-dimensional form, becoming a more robust version of the original organic material. The material’s unique veining and coloration are the results of mineral deposits, which create an extraordinarily visual effect.
Toncelli Essential features a work surface that automatically slides back with the push of a button. When activated, stainless steel areas dedicated to cooking and washing are revealed; image via Toncelli.
With its invisible modular elements, Toncelli’s work epitomizes greater trends in kitchen design, demonstrating that minimalism is not only about function, but also high visual impact. At the same time, it represents a whole lot more. The manufacturer’s work demonstrates that kitchens are not only about function or aesthetic, but also forward-looking technological innovation.
Today’s most avant-garde kitchen products not only require high quality craftsmanship, but also a driven commitment to research and development. In this regard, Toncelli has set the bar higher than ever.