First established in 1993, Sub-Zero Wolf Kitchen Design Contest has always elevated inspiring design trail-blazers who push the boundaries of creativity, while celebrating the enduring appeal of Sub-Zero Wolf appliances. The latest edition of the competition is no different, and this Sydney residence beautifully epitomises the qualities the much-coveted contest strives to recognise.
One of almost 30 finalists from all around the world, this comprehensive and highly-resolved undertaking by Spicer Architecture and Isabelle Harris Design clearly stood out from the other entries. “Centennial Park Residence is a truly bespoke kitchen that blends elements of modern deco and presents a striking contemporary edge with a seamless flow between the kitchen and outdoor alfresco area,” enthuses Andrew Mumford, Managing Director of Sub-Zero Wolf, Australia. “Integral to the design of the kitchen was the fusion of modern technology, state-of-the-art appliances, and luxury finishes. It is a stunning design which beautifully showcases the unique design flexibility of Sub-Zero Wolf.”
The project sees a 1908 house, which had been modified through a series of alterations, additions and extensions throughout its lifetime, transformed into a cohesive and timeless residence that celebrates the home’s architectural context and unique features, while creating a contemporary family home. “The design brief resonated with many of our philosophies,” explains Jonathan Spicer of Spicer Architecture. “We strive to respect heritage design elements, honour elegant historical accents whilst skilfully modernising spaces with a focused and complementary approach.”
Reflecting this approach, the opulent spaces within the home have been underscored by a relaxing and understated sense of softness brought in by the ubiquitous element of curvature, originally inspired by the property’s existing external sandstone columns. Mindfully incorporated throughout the house to create a point of connection between individual elements, the roundness brings a charming lightness to the kitchen space. “The kitchen is probably one of the most used spaces in a family home,” says Isabelle Harris of Isabelle Harris Design. “While looking elegant, it still needs to feel like a cosy, welcoming space. Using organic shapes helps to achieve this.”
Emerging as the showpiece of the home, the kitchen reveals incredible craftsmanship, attention to detail and high level of finish, with the historical context of the space carefully counterbalanced by contemporary inclusions.
“Materiality was crucial. This is a grand home of generous proportions, so the appliances and selection of finishes needed to align with the style of the rest of the home,” says Isabelle, pointing to the Calacatta Gold Marble which gives the island bench a beautifully grounding quality, and the Italian veneer by Piero Lissoni which was used for the joinery, alongside a selection of masterfully patinated brass elements. “Sub-Zero Wolf appliances were chosen because of their technological capabilities and visual design appeal,” she adds. “The fridge and freezer were able to be integrated while the other appliances are visually elegant and discreet.”
“The appliances played an intrinsic role in ensuring the form, elegance and stylised design were enhanced with innovative and superior products allowing the beauty of the space to be integrated with exceptional function,” Jonathan adds. It was also the reliability and longevity of the appliances that equipped the owners with the confidence to invest in a bespoke kitchen design built not only around their own needs, but also around the dimensions and design features of the appliances.
“Projects like this allow us to push the boundaries of possibility and explore new methods of working,” Jonathan enthuses. “This process sparks imagination and allows building a home to become an exciting adventure of art evident in the quality of the finished renovation which honours the history of the home and creates a harmonious and elegant new style.”
And while the team behind the project awaits the announcement of the contest winners, which will take place at the Sub-Zero Wolf Summit and Gala in Tennessee this October, in many ways they have succeeded already. “Knowing that our design philosophy resonated with the judges helps to reinforce our perspectives and further develop our concepts for future projects,” says Jonathan. “Being a finalist is a true honour,” adds Isabelle. “Working with high end companies such as Sub-Zero Wolf as well as a team of artisans means that you can reach a high level of finesse and beauty.”