At Basecamp SFH, we wanted to drive design forward in every aspect of the home. Because of this we hired an award-winning Chicago architect, Vladimir Radutny, to design a custom kitchen for each of the different floor plan types. We also wanted to support local manufacturers and produce the cabinetry in Chicago. Below are four questions answered from the designer that highlight the importance of the custom features of the kitchens.
1. What was the inspiration for your work?
We tried to think of cabinetry design more or less as how we would approach designing furniture. Since the kitchen element is such a visible and interactive part of the ground floor, it needed to appear less like a typical kitchen one would expect to see. It needed to be light in appearance, provide sense of depth, and articulate materiality where one can appreciate the difference from what is typically expected for a home at this price point.
We gathered a lot of inspiration from Henry Built. These kitchens are bit more scandinavian. Less gloss and more wood when compared to the typical cabinetry package which you find everywhere in the Chicago market. This was a breath of fresh air for us.
2. In your opinion, what are the advantages to designing and manufacturing local?
It’s a question that should be answered with another question, why not? We work with so many great local cabinet makers and millworkers that bringing them into this project makes all the sense in the world.
The reason factory made products are cheaper is because they are produced on a mass scale. One can only vary a few parts within what has been established. Then the design becomes about moving the material options around and nothing else.
In our case, we have designed custom cabinetry specifically for this development only with an intent of easily producing multiples, adding an economy of scale to something that is typically missing in custom fabrication. We get the best of both worlds, quality, uniqueness and affordability.
3. What are some of your favorite design features of the cabinets?
The cabinet pulls. I am very happy with how this detail turned out, the seamless integration of stainless steel within the wood panels. It was a very deliberate decision from the beginning to focus on how one opens the doors and drawers. That is what really sets these kitchens apart, attention to detail and integration of parts.
4. Were there any major challenges in ironing out the working drawings with the millworker?
Not anything specific. The greatest challenge was to figure out a sensible way to integrate a standard size refrigerator within the overall composition of each kitchen type.
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