C+S Architects, democratic whiteness

Elemar : l'armadiatura bianca del modello Skin e il tavolo @Home - Design: C+S Architects
Interview to Alessandra Segantini and Carlo Cappai, owners of C+S Architects

Alessandra Segantini and Carlo Cappai (C+S Architects) were in charge of @Home and the new Skin for Elmar - designed in white - as well as art direction for the website and the @Home System, Kitchen Philosophy and Skin catalogs. They recently won the Architecture MasterPrize in Los Angeles (USA).

 A. Segantini e C. Cappai - C+S Architects

"After the war, with the arrival of household appliances - or ‘white goods’ - the kitchen liberated women, who now found themselves with more free time for themselves. In the 1970s the introduction of the hood meant the kitchen no longer had to necessarily be positioned against the wall, so it could now be at the centre of the home, in the living area. The kitchen was no longer a technical space but could also blend in with the room’s perimeter, becoming a kind of ‘accessory-bearing wall’: the white kitchen had become a neutral, democratic kitchen, the same for everyone". These are the words of architect Alessandra Segantini, co-owner (with her husband Carlo Cappai ) of C+S Architects, the studio that designed two of Elmar’s most prestigious models: @Home and Skin, designed in white. "With the arrival of the 1970s, I see the white kitchen as the reflection of a fundamental, epoch-making social transition that says: wom-en are no longer the only ones who have to take care of preparing food, because anyone can use this new neutral space", she continues. " After the 1970s, work was done to enhance the white kitchen with details such as grooved fingergrips and han-dles. The thickness of the worktop became a design feature, voids and recess-es were introduced and new materials appeared. Today we are nomads again". "Statistics say that new generations in the United States live in a house for eight years at most and then move. They prefer fluid spaces where rooms, walls and doors have disappeared. The boundaries move towards built-in systems: kitch-ens, cabinets, movable walls. The design focuses on the surfaces of these complex machines".


The @Home and Skin models, by Elmar, were designed in white versions. Both can be expressed in different shades of white (in the clay and matt lacquered finishes) in continuity with that of the walls, or else they can enhance the white with particular grains or textures (in the wooden and metal finishes).

"The two models, which reflect the trends of transforming the kitchen into a living area, can be defined as ‘walls that magically open’ to reveal a kitchen that disappears once you have finished using it. Our age", architect Segantini says, finally, "is made up of experi-ence, sensations and emotions. So today white is a background that generates experiences".

Skin by Elmar, designed by C+S Architects