Designer    Case Study 01 Feb 2015

Designer Carl Lapointe leads Pure Cuisines to accomplish a high impact minimalistic kitchen

A Canadian home in which simplicity was the key aim features a kitchen that successfully achieves both minimalism and high impact 

A new single family home built in Montreal’s veterans’ quarter shows how minimalism can be combined with warmth to stunning effect. Designed for a young couple, the house features avant-garde architecture built around the concept of a deconstructed ‘Monopoly’ house.

In keeping with a desire to achieve visual clarity, the kitchen is treated as an architectural object that forms an integral part of the overall space. Carl Lapointe and his team at Pure Cuisines designed an immense island – 3.75m by 1.3m – and a full-height wall unit to emphasise the vertical space. Made by the Italian manufacturer Cesar, the Yara kitchen’s complex and subtle details come together into a confidently minimalist whole.

The use of oak gives warmth, sophistication and a sense of movement to the monochrome space. This elegant natural material guided a number of decisions for the interior design of the rest of the house.

The choice of stainless steel for the work surface stemmed from the desire to achieve a high-tech industrial look reminiscent of a professional kitchen. The boldly modern, ultra-thin (4mm) material is raised to produce a floating effect, creating a perfectly smooth, low-maintenance surface with no visible seams. The integrated sinks also provide benefits by helping to emphasize the volume’s unity and purity.

Lapointe said: “In this one project all surfaces are aesthetically clean and clear. This way of working shows a very graphic proposal for the space which basically consists of two elements – one steel worktop and one dark wood veneer for the tall unit.”

He points out that the workmanship that has gone into the project was key, with the oak such a focal point and the ultra-thin 4mm stainless steel reinforcing the simplicity of the overall design.

Lapointe adds that the furniture by Cesar offers a wide range of possibilities making it, he says, “basically like custom-made furniture”. Elsewhere in the kitchen, appliances are from Gaggenau (integrated refrigerator and freezer) and AEG (oven and hob).

Lapointe sees a number of major trends defining kitchen design today. “The passion for the big island is very strong now and will remain so for the foreseeable future, he said, “and for good reason. It opens up the space and brings the core kitchen activity into the centre of the space.

“This project is a good example of it in fact, consisting of just one work station, the island, and tall columns for the storage. It is a layout that can also adapt to work within a more traditional space.”

Looking ahead, he expects the current trend towards a more textured, rustic feel to continue. “This has been present for the last few years, especially in the use of wood in various forms. This trend does not mean that we have to let go of the contemporary essence of a project, not at all. It is merely a more natural way of interpreting the style.”

Pure Cuisines /

PHOTO CREDIT: Antoine Fortin

Published in Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Magazine