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This project by Paúl Vásquez is not only a kitchen, it’s the main social area.

Nowadays, besides being a space for cooking, the kitchen is a place that invites us to interact, and is considered a main social area within the home. In this blog entry you will find a short interview with Paúl Vásquez, one of the partners of INAI Arquitectura, where he shows us the Altavista kitchen, one of the kitchens he developed in a penthouse in the city of Cuenca.

What was the main idea behind the kitchen design?

When we designed the kitchen of this penthouse, we had to fulfill the main task of welcoming the whole family in an environment that not only allows cooking, but we were also looking for a space to enjoy a good conversation in a pleasant atmosphere.

How did you solve the client’s needs?

The arrangement of the cabinets in an island allows us a perfect flow; the kitchen and the breakfast area are in the center and the back counter with the dishwasher and sink are arranged in parallel. A closed group of cabinets, located perpendicular to the island includes the storage space, refrigerator, and ovens, while in the opposite direction there is a closet containing a large pantry with a small hidden coffee area.

No cabinets were placed above the countertops to generate visual amplitude in the central part. The whole scheme is framed in a perfect rectangle, with perfect symmetries.

How do you connect the kitchen to its surroundings?

The penthouse has a privileged view of the city of Cuenca, so a large window was placed in front of this space focusing on the skyline of the city, and in opposition as a backdrop, a vertical garden has been arranged as the interior focal point from any perspective. It was not easy to create a balance between the beauty of the mountains and the terracotta rooftops of the city of Cuenca, so using a natural vegetated element within the kitchen always seemed like a perfect ingredient. On the other hand, the weather of the city and the plants used in the garden ensured that the kitchen would not cause pollution.

Why did you decide to use white in contrast with the wood?

The chromatic in the furniture is quite simple, bright white lacquers and a wood tone were the right choice to not compete with the vertical garden and the cityscape shown in the windows. On the other hand, wood is a material that is applied in other areas of the apartment and therefore also allowed us to generate harmony between the different spaces. The floors also have two textures, the wooden one which crosses the entire apartment in a linear way and goes through the kitchen marking the pedestrian circulation and the rest of the areas covered with large format calacata porcelain tile.

The result seems to us very sober, sophisticated, simple and also incorporating the vegetation makes it become one of our favorite kitchens.