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When it’s time for the "Magic table" again

Cooking = cult. The kitchen is the focal point of the house – particularly if you use the Aurélie Späti kitchen system. This system was developed for the Späti Innenausbau AG by the well-known atelier oï. The EKU Clipo sliding solution creates a “magic table” effect, says designer Aurel Aebi from atelier oï enthusiastically.

Mr. Aebi, your kitchen won the silver medal at the Swiss Kitchen Awards. Was this a surprise?
Success follows when you follow yourself. But we don’t want success. We want to create something good. I could imagine winning a prize, because we put a lot of energy into it.

What is the appeal of a kitchen?
A good kitchen lives from its materials – and from the tension between them, the delta. With a sweet and sour dish, it is not the “sweet” or “sour” aspect alone that is interesting, but the excitement that occurs in your mouth. We work like a chef who creates a harmonious dish from exquisite selected ingredients. We selected ingredients from our material archive containing 20,000 materials and composed the kitchen from those – from concrete, metal, wood, textiles and ceramics.

The kitchen makes an harmonious impression, in spite of the many materials.
This has to do with proportioning and weighing up – and this is also associated with cooking. The colours may be dark, but not black, and the wood and the contents shimmer through the doors. Whereas the tiles are shiny, the wood and the concrete are matt. The textile has a wave action that creates an interplay of light and shadows, as does the lighting with the glass rods on the tiles. Everything is orchestrated and proportioned in such a way as to create a visual equilibrium.

This sliding door fitting is silent and smooth – a real Roll-Royce.

Which requirements have influenced your creative work?
It was a project from Späti Innenausbau AG and our atelier oï. There was an intense exchange of information. And when two parties are involved the result can be something that is at a higher level – a value that is generated from the collaboration. With the Aurélie Späti kitchen, a kind of personality emerged.

Did you have to compromise?
Compromise isn't the right expression. When you are designing something you have to take a stance. The situation is the same with garden architecture. You can't just cut a hedge a little bit. Either you let the hedge grow naturally, or it is given a defined shape by people. It's not about trial and error, but taking a stance.

The kitchen is called Aurélie Späti...
The name arose in a workshop, from the wording. We attempt to extract the being of something, and then implement it with the correct vocation. We collaborate with architects, designers, scenographers, light designers, engineers and even a boatbuilder. The kitchen is the fruit of the collaboration of all disciplines at both atelier oï and Späti Innenausbau AG.

Why did you decide on EKU Clipo?
This sliding door fitting has a “magic table” effect. The doors slide easily and quietly: The fitting is extremely filigree, almost invisible and you cannot see any grooves at the bottom. Sliding doors have been around for a long time. But this fitting, combined with the special aesthetics because of the perforation, is a real Roll-Royce.

What do you like about sliding doors?
I like sliding doors a lot because of the gesticulation. A room can be completely opened up, and there are no doors in the way. I can make the doors disappear in the design because I do not have to draw a door leaf in the room. With floor-to-ceiling sliding doors you can imagine that they aren't there - there is no frame, and the room is spacious. The area can be made 100% accessible in furniture construction. This is extremely convenient in a kitchen, because the doors can be left open during cooking. And then everything can be quietened down again in the kitchen by closing all of the doors.

Designer with a perspective

When he completed his architecture studies at the ECAL in Lausanne in 1991, Aurel Aebi (51), collaborated with fellow students Armand Louis and Patrick Reymond and established the atelier oï architecture and design studio, the name of which is derived from the Russian word “Troika”, which means "triumvirate". By now, 35 creative people work meticulously on all kinds of items – from perfume bottles to residential buildings. They always work in an interdisciplinary way.

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