A Bruno Sacchi Kitchen Forty Years On…
My brother has just produced these new fangled 360 degree images of the house, and this one of the kitchen feels like a celebration in orange of a unique room, the hub of our house.
Now that I have a better idea and personal experience of how long modern kitchens and their fittings last, I marvel at this one my father designed in 1978. All it has needed in these last forty years, is a lick of white and orange paint on the walls and a good scrub up of the white travertine floor with its black slate framing edges.
What strikes me in particular reflecting on it now, is my father's creation of the furniture itself designed as part of the architecture. The table, with its playful kitchen tablecloth effect created by orange stucco inlaid in a sheet of travertine, rests on L shaped iron legs and base, too heavy to move and once famously wrapped in bubble-wrap after my one year old flew headlong against it. Drawers inserted on either side hold napkins and cutlery, while Piretti's 1968 Castelli Plia chairs in orange and green feel made for it.
The storage cupboards and drawers are similarly designed as part of the architecture, separated by a strip of orange, space created above them by a simple slab of travertine resting on orange metal beams, my father’s structural signature element. The blackboard running the length of the washing and draining area was way ahead of its time, lit by a neon strip above it and very useful for evening geometry homework as an eleven year old, quite apart from family shopping lists. Lighting above the over head open storage space flooded and punctuated the naturally arched ceiling while the white walls set off everything put on them, reflecting the bright mediterranean light.
Family Practicality and Clean Design
The narrow door connecting the kitchen to the hallway corridor leading to the dining room, is a black swing wooden door with a port hole window, a tongue in cheek take on a professional working kitchen, oh so useful for keeping the preparation mess and cooking clanking from the guests waiting in the dining room at the other end of the black slate strip of flooring.
I remember when we were young, my brother and I feeding the ‘cucina economica’ or wood burning stove with chunks of wood from the garden and adjusting the heavy metal rings under big saucepans with special rods and pokers. Although this was later replaced by sleek new gas rings, this was, and still feels like, the perfect mix of cosy family practicality and clean design. What a kitchen.