The Western kitchen was historically regarded as service space, kept removed from dining and living rooms. In recent decades, a shift in attitudes about the act of cooking as a social activity has come hand-in-hand with a rise in open kitchens, with easy access to adjacent dining and living rooms. Line Kitchen surmises to further blend the kitchen and social spaces that revolve around food, so that it becomes a forum for a continuous series of activities that transform the way we inhabit the kitchen.
A central linear island, conventionally oriented to divide an open kitchen from a dining area, is re-imagined to accommodate at various points across its length a cleaning and prep station, cooking space, bar area, and dining table. The countertop transforms itself to house not only sinks and cooktop, but also knife block, herb planter, wine and ice bucket, and table centerpiece embedded in its surface. Likewise, the underside of the island contains cabinetry and appliances, but also inflects to accommodate leg room for bar stools and dining chairs.
The resulting continuity between cooking and social activities creates a progression of overlapping zones rather than compartmentalization. The blurring of these zones is further reflected by the undulating birch screen that houses corresponding storage for each activity. The wall shelves behind grow to accommodate large pots and shrink for the smaller fine china. The screen’s retractable wood slats vary in depth, creating a gradient effect and revealing only the stored items for the area currently occupied.