a chat with bulthaup's design director ramón casadó
There's a reason that bulthaup is at the top of its game when it comes to kitchen interiors – the company has been studying, experimenting and developing products in this realm for more than six decades. Done right, a kitchen is a space for people to come together to connect and relax. Creative innovation is at the core of bulthaup's multifunctional, modular approach, which makes it possible for consumers to build kitchens that are unique and tailored precisely to their needs. We gained some more insight by chatting to the company's design director Ramón Casadó.
What, do you believe, constitutes good design?
There are obviously many things that come together to create truly great design, but some of the basics are the ergonomics, functionality and aesthetics of a room, or in my business, designing a stunning yet functional and bespoke kitchen, bedroom or living room. We’ve recently become the exclusive partner for Italian firm Rimadesio, which has created beautiful products for 50 years: doors, sliding panels, shelving units, walk-in wardrobes and a collection of complementary furniture. To say that ‘Rimadesio produces systems for sub-dividing environments and for the architectural definition of internal spaces’ is to deny that gorgeous nature of their products. Within their linear and concrete designs lies a simplicity of a concept expressed through an exceptional level of technical competence. They create highly stylised objects, made to guarantee a superb look, but which still lend themselves to daily life and are perfect for contemporary living.
That’s great news about Rimadesio in South Africa. Can you tell us more about how bulthaup achieves their design aesthetic?
With more than 60 years of experience in producing high-quality kitchens, the bulthaup story began with the German tradition of fine craftsmanship and precision engineering in kitchen cabinetry. These elements then became intertwined with the vision of function and aesthetics as originated by the Bauhaus movement and the Ulm School of Design. Since then bulthaup has built its reputation as the top luxury brand in the field by delivering bespoke kitchen furniture engineered to exact specifications of the highest quality and craftsmanship, coupled with a design vision that delivers classic, timeless designs that remain modern, giving each kitchen a long life.
How important is good design in the kitchen, and why?
As I outlined above, without each of the elements that constitute good design you might end up with a kitchen that looks very interesting and sculptural, but is actually rubbish to cook in, because the oven or the hob is not in the right place, or there’s not enough counter space, or the rinsing basin is on the wrong side of the island, just to name a few. A high-end kitchen will increase the value of the home. And it is the heart of the home – it’s the place where we make things with our hands, share them with our family, and spend time together in a way like no other room in the house. So it’s very important that it’s a space that works, that looks amazing, and is perfectly suited to its role.
What, do you believe, are the most important elements of a kitchen?
At bulthaup we believe, first and foremost that the kitchen is for cooking! This is what brings people together, the love of and social aspect of eating and sharing food together. So never sacrifice aesthetic for functionality. You must find the harmony – purposeless design is not worth it. In the end, bulthaup designs come from what the kitchen is designed to do, which you can think of as form following function. And we do that at the highest level of quality and luxury.
What do you recommend for homeowners interested in purchasing a high-end luxury kitchen?
It’s important to understand how your investment in a kitchen impacts on the price of your home. A bulthaup kitchen is the top kitchen brand in the German luxury market. The high quality of this luxury product, produced by sophisticated manufacturing, is far above that of local bespoke and is designed to last for 15 years or more. We always have to aim for the quality of the product and that’s what bulthaup does best without compromising on anything. We are all about the details, from the quality of the finishes to the long life of the hinges, and from design to manufacture, installation and aftercare. All of these deliver the best results for a stunning kitchen that is absolutely top-notch for cooking while being a showcase for the house and increasing its value in the property market.