IKEA kitchens hacked by Danish architects including BIG
Danish architecture studios BIG, Henning Larsen and Norm have hacked IKEA flat-pack kitchens for Danish company Reform (+ slideshow).
Reform, which specialises in customising the Swedish furniture giant's Metod kitchen, invited the trio – who are among the biggest names in Danish architecture – to produce designs for its range.
"The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in our home," said founder and CEO Jeppe Christensen. "But interestingly, it is often overlooked when it comes to design. For the most part our kitchens are white and as neutral as possible. We want to change this."
BIG, the Copenhagen and New York studio led by Bjarke Ingels, has added handles made from car seat belts to the cupboards of its kitchen.
The black fabric is looped over and fitted behind the top corner of each cabinet door, creating a tab for easy opening.
"For several years we've been flirting with the idea of making custom-designed kitchens," said Jakob Lange, head of design at BIG Ideas. "But in reality we often end up with custom-made kitchens that are quite expensive. That's why the thought of making a kitchen which is exclusive in every way except the price appeals a lot to us."
The BIG kitchen is available in white and oak with a composite tabletop and composite wash, which can be substituted for stainless steel.
Henning Larsen Architects aimed to mix warm and cold colours by adding vertical strips of metal to the edges of wooden cupboard doors.
Oak veneer is paired with copper, while another version has a steel band spray-painted in white or black to match the doors.
"All projects Henning Larsen Architects work on reveal their strong roots in the Scandinavian tradition of design," said a statement from Reform.
"Their kitchen design is simple, timeless and inspired by a classic carpentry-kitchen with custom-made elements."
Copenhagen-based Norm Architects, which recently completed an Italian restaurant interior, removed the handles from the surfaces and replaced them with magnetic touch latches to keep a minimal appearance.
Related content: see more kitchens
The countertop material – available in fibre-reinforced concrete, bronzed tombac metal, oak-sawn veneer and smoked oak – is continued around the sides and below the doors.
"The common thread which identifies Norm Architect's projects is the recognisable, clean and geometrical expression," said a statement from Reform.
"Simple, natural and authentic are the code words for Norm Architects – which surely also holds true for the kitchen they have designed for Reform."
Reform offers drawer and cabinet fronts as well as countertops to provide customers with more options for the furniture giant's basic design. To use the service, customers send their IKEA order confirmation, drawings and choice of Reform style options.
When the elements are then delivered, the user installs the fronts themselves on the IKEA hinges and brackets that come with the kitchen.
These three designs kitchens will debut at Danish trade show Northmodern, which will take place in Copenhagen from 13 to 15 August 2015.
IKEA presented its own kitchens created as part of collaborations with designers Paola Navone, Matali Crasset, Studio Irvine and Thomas Sandell earlier this year.
Last year, the Swedish company backed out of legal action against a website that publishes user modifications of its products.