What does it mean to live well? With 333 years of design under its belt, Gaggenau has mastered this concept through four basic principles.
27 June, 2017
The countdown is well and truly on now for our inaugural INDE.Awards! And we can’t wait to see who is voted as winner of the Living Space award, which honours the region’s most inspiring home. If a picture speaks a million words, then our homes speak a million more. They articulate who we are, how we live and what we love. Our design choices – from paint and materials to sofas and appliances – reflect our personality and, in turn, project that character onto our abodes. They are what make a house not just a home, but our home.
INDE Living Space Award seeks to celebrate our region’s best Living Space. The winning project will represent the ultimate achievement in a ‘well-designed way of life’ and Gaggenau, our partner for this award, is the perfect embodiment of this. The German appliance manufacturer is well known for being the brand of choice among discerning consumers worldwide, thanks to its ingenious integrated cooking, dishwashing, ventilation and refrigeration solutions, many of which pioneer new technologies. Moreover, its four main design principles – authentic, sculptural, present and generous – don’t just apply to its products, they are also relevant to contemporary residential design. Let’s take a closer look…
Gaggenau is one of those rare companies that can truly claim to be authentic for several reasons. Firstly, the eponymous brand was actually born in Gaggenau – a small town in the Murgtal Valley at the foot of the Black Forest. Secondly it has stuck with its signature blue enamel for many years and never includes design features just for the sake of it. A perfect example of this is the new TFT touch display for the 400 and 200 series ovens. The display shows only what has been currently activated or changed and secondary displays are scaled down or hidden and colours kept very unobtrusive. “We don’t want to show all things that would be technically possible. Of course the display could be animated, colourful or three-dimensional but that wouldn’t be right for Gaggenau,” says designer Soren Strayle.
In residential A+D, meanwhile, authenticity is highlighted by the trends toward natural materials and adaptive re-use, where homeowners are choosing to strip back existing buildings to their bare bones and celebrate the building’s original structure. They want to create interiors that sympathise with the heritage of the building, no longer hiding or plastering over traditional features.
There is no doubt that of all the appliance brands out there, Gaggenau is one of the most stylish; a fact that is more important than ever since the rise of open-plan living. Kitchens are now the heart of the home and very often visible from surrounding living and dining areas. They are the room in which family and friends gather, making your appliances not just functional items but showpieces. And Gaggenau only uses materials that are durable as well as aesthetic, including stainless steel, aluminium, brass, cast iron, enamel and glass. From the satisfyingly robust, stainless steel knobs on its Vario 400 series to the precisely-crafted edges of the ventilation strips of its 200 series, every last detail is sculptural and unmistakably Gaggenau.
Again, this principle highlights a trend we are seeing in today’s architecture. Residential new-builds often take on large, geometric forms, with the current popular trend for ovoid apertures or dramatic cantilevers, rendering them more like giant sculptures than traditional homes.
This brings us onto generous. It’s not necessarily that homes are getting bigger – they just feel considerably more spacious with open-plan layouts and indoor-outdoor living creating roomier, better-flowing designs. Glass is also being used much more generously, inviting the outdoors in and enhancing our sense of volume and light.
Similarly, Gaggenau’s appliances are designed to reflect this way of living. Large side-by-side fridge-freezers and wine cabinets make a statement within high-end open-plan kitchens, as do the 90cm ovens and modular cooktops, which can be used to create impressive, professional-style work stations. However, it’s not just the proportions that are generous, it’s the material quality too. For instance, its oven doors, which are quadruple-glazed and in part thermally coated.
The last, but by no means least important, of Gaggenau’s four design principles – ‘present’ sums up the brand beautifully. For, not only are its appliances always at the forefront of design aesthetically speaking, they are often streaks ahead in terms of innovation. Gaggenau was the first brand to introduce electric ovens and the first to bring steam cooking into the residential sector. More recently, it also pioneered the first, fully automatic cleaning system within the steam oven, which users can activate at the touch of a button.
Whether it’s down to a recent onslaught of home-renovation shows or the popularity of Instagram and Pinterest, our collective fascination with residential design shows no sign of abating. We all seek appealing spaces in which to relax or entertain, and homes that enhance our daily lives. Gaggenau’s design principles continue to champion these ideals and, on June 30, the brand will help us celebrate some of the most exciting residential projects of our region.
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