In a comprehensive three story remodel of their Capitol Hill townhouse, this young professional couple were looking for a dramatic yet understated modern kitchen to meld seamlessly into the living and dining room of a long, narrow space. With floor to ceiling windows on two sides and no wall separating the kitchen area from dining and living, and the space narrowing where the kitchen would be located, it was clear that the layout would be one long wall of appliances and base, tall, and wall cabinetry, with an island. The challenge was how to make it function well for family living and frequent entertaining, accommodate two ovens, microwave, coffee station, large refrigerator and freezer, wine cooler, six burner cooktop, dishwasher and a big double sink, lots of storage and work space, and a sociable bar top with stools, in a sleek, elegant, uncluttered composition, with an element of surprise?
The unexpected solution was to put a serpentine kink in the middle of the fourteen foot long island, which breaks up the long expanse visually and functionally, and allow the storage and appliance wall to serve as a quiet backdrop, all in black, to the more lyrical island. It made the most sense to place the cooktop at the far end of the island, so providing effective exhaust was critical. By stretching the hood canopy, echoing part of the curve in the island and reducing it to a prow-like point, the exhaust reinforces the graceful sweep of the island and becomes a minimalist sculpture, terminating the long space with a flourish. The island and hood flow strikingly like a river between the canyon walls of black cabinetry and black wrought iron gridded windows and open railed staircase.