Tonal expression

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This understated kitchen blends with an interior of sculptural forms and subtle hues
View of an apartment kitchen with dark-toned cabinetry, angle, area, design, elevation, floor plan, font, line, plan, product, product design, schematic, square, text, white
View of an apartment kitchen with dark-toned cabinetry, long polished Venetian plaster ceiling panels, concrete pillars, stainless-steel splashback, under-cabinet lighting and end-grain hemlock floors.

Constricted by services or blocked by bulkheads, a kitchen design can be at the mercy of what has come before. The trick is to turn every limitation into an element that will enhance the design.

This kitchen was created by architect Dan Vercruysse and interior designer Jodi Gillespie. The apartment was partially constructed as a speculative property, with framing and plumbing already in place at the start of the design. Existing framing was removed to clear out spaces, says Vercruysse.

"The new kitchen is set almost out of sight between the concrete pillar supports. A large island at the front connects to and helps organize the greater space," says Vercruysse. "Above the island is a floating ceiling panel in hand-waxed Venetian plaster. Besides concealing some services, this ceiling leads the eye across the space, out to views of the Mississippi River. This element simplifies the interior, a space that in reality has several nooks and corners."


View of an apartment kitchen with dark-toned cabinetry, architecture, ceiling, floor, flooring, interior design, laminate flooring, living room, lobby, loft, wall, wood flooring, gray
View of an apartment kitchen with dark-toned cabinetry, long polished Venetian plaster ceiling panels, concrete pillars, stainless-steel splashback, under-cabinet lighting and end-grain hemlock floors.

Interesting, understated finishes have been introduced throughout the home, against a backdrop of the base structure's exposed concrete walls. The client had asked that these be left unclad, preferring the roughcast texture.

Besides creating contrast, the concrete provided a color cue for some elements, including the surfaces of the wall and island cabinetry, Jodi Gillespie says.

"These are in maple, stained a custom gray that also has nuances of the brown, end-grain hemlock floors," says Gillespie.

View of an apartment kitchen with dark-toned cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, room, black, gray
View of an apartment kitchen with dark-toned cabinetry, long polished Venetian plaster ceiling panels, concrete pillars, stainless-steel splashback, under-cabinet lighting and end-grain hemlock floors.

Besides appearing to meld with the formwork, the cabinetry finishes also complement the brushed stainless steel countertops and integrated sink.

"The kitchen, like the entire apartment, creates a play of quiet tones and textures," says Gillespie. "The back-painted glass island countertop takes its color from the off-white hand-worked plaster of the ceiling overhead. Both offer a sense of material depth that contribute to the emphasis on form and line."

May 17, 2011

Credit list

of sculptural forms and subtle hues Architect
Dan Vercruysse LEED AP, BD+C,
Builder
Ben Dunlap, Streeter and Associates
Countertop, sink and backsplash
Stainless steel in custom Jittter Bug finish from LSV Metals
Faucets
KWC
Oven, cooktop, microwave
Wolf
Interior designer
Jodi Gillespie ASID,
Cabinetry
Custom in rift-cut maple by Fritz Cabinetry
Flooring
Hemlock end-grain from Oregon Lumber
Blinds
Sheer-weave Insolroll supplied and installed by
Dishwasher
Asko
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