Crisp, floating cabinetry and a Bauhaus narrative 'less is more' approach leads to a kitchen that's in the designer's words 'differently' beautiful 

Designed by Damian Hannah, German Kitchens

From the designer:

My homeowner was building her dream architecturally designed home in Brooklyn, Wellington and her wish was simple – 'white with a little more white and some extra white on top'.

My owner is very design conscious and, along with the white palette, wanted the design features of the kitchen to be the focus. 

The kitchen was to be functional and aesthetically pleasing while being responsive to the environment.

And most of all it had to be eye-catching and beautiful to sit amongst the other unique design elements that surround the space. 

The scene was set, the brief delivered and the architectural plans confirmed. 

I had the space allocated and the concept in my head. 

Beautiful with a difference

I wanted to create a kitchen that allowed both an aesthetic appeal and also a functional form – yet was 'differently' beautiful in its design and not derived just from its colour or texture.

I took the Bauhaus narrative 'Less is More' approach and worked on the essentials without the fluff. 

While drawing the concepts, I eliminated the plinths and then the lower cabinetry area to create a 'floating' kitchen and lined this up with the recessed skirting boards and this allowed the white floor boards to extend all the way to the walls.

This created depth to the space and a natural shadow line below to free the room of 'built-in' cabinets. 

The cabinetry was suspended by building a large structural steel frame that supported the 3m lengths of cabinetry via a single skinny chrome leg at each end. 

This steel frame also gave me room to run the required services and provided extra bench depth to create useable work surfaces. 

The cabinetry was specified in a white high gloss lacquer to borrow light and reflect the stunning views. 

Organic Corian benchtops with fabricated Corian Sink and moulded Corian splashback and illuminated Corian shelf were specified to retain the white palette but there is a visual movement to the Corian material that adds interest to the white palette. 

Breathing space

The free standing Smeg white fridge was specified as a juxtaposition to the contemporary aesthetic. 

The Fab fridge added a softness with its radius edges and complements the design of old and the space was allocated to allow this to truly stand alone to show off its organic form. 

Wall cabinets were sacrificed for the simple accessible shelf and to accentuate the ceiling height and offer room for the owners' Dutch Masters to break up the white. 

Induction with combined downdraft ventilation and a combination steam oven allowed us to minimise the number of the required appliances, with an integrated DishDrawer to further reduce the requirement for on-show elements. 

Chrome fittings were specified to avoid adding any additional colour to the kitchen and to tie in with the standard chrome fittings of the fridge.

The end result is exactly as my homeowner desired – functional, white, aesthetically pleasing – essentially, a little more white and beautiful with some extra white on top!

Tricky footing

As is often the case, something came along to interfere with plans – when constructing the steel beam and skinny support legs we found we had a small tolerance for height adjustment with the uneven floors. 

We didn't account for the new concrete poured floors to be a lot more out of tolerance than planned. 

This took a remake of a leg to account for the height.

My owner also decided to add a boiling water tap to the equation after the fact and this meant I had to fit the boiling water boiler into an already overcrowded recede height sink unit which included a drawer, pull-out spray and a waste master.

We had 2mm space left by the time we had finished.

Innovative solution

Manufacturing the Corian benchtop with moulded Corian splashback and moulded Corian shelf with inbuilt illumination took a lot of planning and thought on how we suspend the shelf. 

A simple 6mm plate steel bar was inserted into the wall prior to the plasterboard which the shelf would slide over to allow invisible fixings – which all seems logical until you revert back to my first point raised above about the floor being uneven.

Green credentials

Sustainability determines our design approach. 

This kitchen is designed for a long service life which requires exceptional and timeless product design. 

We always use as many sustainable products that we can, for example the kitchen's Corian benchtop meets or exceeds current emissions guidelines for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) and is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified. 

In addition, Corian Solid Surface is nontoxic and nonallergenic to humans and is free of heavy metals – and complies with the EU Directive 2002/95EC on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS).

The cabinetry meets the strict FSC requirements.  (FSC prevents overexploitation on a global level, protects rare species and obviates human rights violations.) 

The triple-layer furniture boards used for our carcasse and front materials are certified according to the strict emission requirements as per CARB II (California Air Resources Board) and the formaldehyde emission of less than 0.05 ppm is well below the permitted limit value of emission class E1 (0.1 ppm).

Credit list

Moth Light
Taps, water dispenser
Dorn Bracht
Cooktop, ventilation
Fisher & Paykel
Poggenpohl High Gloss Lacquer
Kitchen sink
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Winner

Designed by: Damian Hannah, German Kitchens

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Paul McCredie

03 Feb, 2025

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