Philippine market now ready for high-end kitchen designs
Louis Poulsen and Bulthaup are the latest additionsBy Maricris Irene V. Tamolang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
What better way to define efficiency than precisely illustrating functionality?
“Form follows function” characterizes two of Living Innovations’ latest additions to its lineup of European luxury brands.
Louis Poulsen, a Danish brand and manufacturer of lamps, was launched recently, with the opening of a kitchen showroom for Bulthaup, a German brand known for integrated top-of-the-line kitchen systems.
“The Philippines is growing in terms of understanding the quality and importance of a good design,” notes Living Innovations sales manager for furniture division Bianca Wee, about Louis Poulsen’s entry into the Philippine market.
Living Innovations, established by the Ong family in 2002, is a sister company of Moduclasse International Corp., a pioneer in distributing modular kitchen cabinets in the country.
Louis Poulsen’s designs were first conceptualized in the 1920s. Eventually they became a classic lighting brand.
“So for the art enthusiasts and the modernists or anyone who has an eye for design and appreciation for the art, this brand would be the perfect choice,” Wee says.
Its Danish-designed lighting is glare-free, the trademark of most Louis Poulsen lamps.
Among its classics is the PH suspension lamp, one of the first lamps named after Danish designer Poul Henningsen. The lamp made it to the Paris International Exposition in 1925 and was manufactured by Louis Poulsen.
The PH 5 and PH 2/1 lamps, which reflect light through an opal glass material and a base chrome finish, are only two of its variants.
From its 1950s-60s collection are the AJ lamp by Arne Jacobsen, who designed it for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen; Verner Panton’s Panthella, whose lamp base and shade merge into each other seamlessly; and Louise Campbell’s LC Shutters lamp, which comes in plain white color with a 100-percent glare-free downward lighting, and also shows a colorful pattern with its colorful foil inserts when turned on or off.
Another piece that emits downward lighting is the OJ lamp designed by Ole Jensen.
Wee says Louis Poulsen’s lighting philosophy works around the concept of function, comfort and ambience merged into one.
Similarly, Bulthaup’s clientele, which includes the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Michael Jordan, is aimed at a market whose discriminating taste leans toward high-class functionality.
“For us, precision means superlative expertise and quality, as well as technical perfection,” says Living Innovations sales manager for kitchen division Melissa Anne Lotho. “The main emphasis of Bulthaup products is quality, innovation and technical perfection.”
The brand offers three types of system: b1 system-kitchen essentials; b2 system-kitchen workshop, and b3 system-architecture of living spaces.
“All of our systems are conceptualized and designed with functionality, innovation, authenticity of materials and longevity in mind, creating a system with a promise of quality and new innovations that give us an edge over our competitors,” Lotho says.
A pioneer in kitchen systems, Bulthaup specializes in kitchen architecture that creates the kitchen as a space for living.
The Bulthaup b3 system is based on the architecture of the room and the individual needs of the customer, and is sold as a whole kitchen design, with everything customized according to the client’s requirement.
The more versatile Bulthaup b2 system gives kitchen functionality a different spin with its core elements of the tool cabinet and appliance cabinet that can be added and combined.
This kitchen system is mobile, with compact units that are simple and blend with the principle of “pared essentials.”
One of Bulthaup’s unique features is the functional box, which utilizes the mid portion of the kitchen wall and keeps clutter away from anyone’s sight.
“When the doors of the function boxes are closed, everything is tidied away; there’s nothing to interrupt the view of the pure form in all its beauty,” Lotho says. “But behind them, the most ergonomically arranged storage solution of everyday needs is concealed.”
For foodies who opt for flexibility in the kitchen, there’s Bulthaup’s innovative interior element called “functional prism.” This enables anyone “to repurpose pullouts and drawers as you see fit, over and over again with ease and speed.”
“The elements allow you to reconfigure space to ever-evolving lives,” says Lotho. “These are placed in drawers or pullouts. They allow you to create and organize theme zones and islands, to set priorities, to create primary and secondary areas.”
Bulthaup kitchen systems have a unique front finish in gray aluminum, bronze aluminum or sand-beige aluminum that changes hue depending on the lighting.
Drawers and pullouts have a steel base for a long service life, load bearing capacity and safety.
“The bases are ‘sell-resistant’ and fully recyclable. The drawers are also removable so that they can be easily cleaned,” says Lotho.
Bulthaup veneers are processed from a single tree trunk and become unique works of art in the hands of the company’s veneer master craftsman.
An additional feature of Bulthaup are the horizontal veneers arranged consecutively.
Bulthaup kitchen showroom is at Unit 133 G/F, Makati Shangri-La, Retail Arcade, Ayala Ave., Makati City. Louis Poulsen showroom is at 207 2/F Makati Shangri-La, Retail Arcade, Ayala Ave., Makati City. Visit www.livinginnovations.ph.