A unique and exclusive kitchens showroom in the panorama of contemporary furniture stores located in a fully-renovated historical building. We are talking about Homtique, situated in the old French concession quarter of Shanghai, one of the most affluent and artistic areas of the city centre, the favourite haunt of hipsters and art lovers.
Distributed over various floors, the showroom replicates the many functions of the rooms one would typically find in a home, including the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the bathroom and a porch.
“We wanted to create a space that would differentiate itself from the traditional concept of a showroom. As suggested by its name, Homtique aims at recreating an immersive home experience for our customers, inviting them to try out situations they will replicate in their own homes” explains Benny Kao, founder of Homtique.
Furniture to be experienced
“Base on this assumption, all the products exhibited can be easily used and experienced, including Valcucine's kitchens that are fully equipped with a ready-to-use tap, a fridge, an oven, a coffee machine and other small household appliances. We think our customers can better understand and appreciate our products if they see them in action” continues Kao.
This approach is particularly effective for Valcucine's furniture, especially for the advanced opening and closing movements made possible by the company's Special Elements, designed to maximise simplicity in the kitchen and offer new experiences of use.
Logica Celata and the wow effect
Logica Celata steals the show; it's the latest development in smart research that makes over space and reinvents ergonomics. Displayed in the bar version, it is customised using Vitrum Arte, a technique exclusive to Valcucine by which designs are created by hand using an extraordinary inlay technique.
Thanks to the V-Motion system, a mere movement of the hand makes the door glide upwards to reveal the entire work area in which everything is ready to be used in the most efficient and practical way. When you have finished, another movement of the hand makes the door shut flush with the underlying base units, concealing everything from view and instantly creating a tidy look.
“As well as offering a new experience of use – explains Kao – Logica Celata creates a magical atmosphere, a concept we wanted to highlight by cutting a profile out of the wall which echoes the design of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest and of agriculture, a tribute to the Greek culture. A wow effect that offers all our customers an unexpected and eye-catching sight”.
All Valcucine's values
Even the 2nd floor of Homtique offers visitors an authentic total experience. This is where you can find the Genius Loci kitchen based on the all-Italian tradition of conviviality, quality and the cult of beauty. Its distinctive element is the H8 slanting drawer that runs across the textured surfaces, like a line on an artist's canvas.
The Carnic Elm wood finish chosen for the drawer fronts, the wall panelling and the breakfast bar counter contrasts with the Cement Tech Ceramic finish of the base units and top.
“We have made the most of the opportunity granted by Genius Loci to fit the slanting drawer on a cantilever top as well. As well as increasing the surface of the worktop, this solution extends the drawer run beyond the end of the base units, making for more flexible module planning” says Kao.
To further enhance ergonomics, the kitchen is fitted with the Special Air Logica System with V-Motion element: hands-free, a simple gesture moves the large doors, synchronous with the tap gliding into position and the lights turning on, all courtesy of a concealed sensor that detects any movement of the hand.
The island – which completes the arrangement – features a H48 Accessory rack which can be customised to suit various requirements and areas of the kitchen, featuring a rich assortment of accessories such as the splashguard to which shelves and sliding containers can be attached. The idea is that of an optimised, ready-to-use set-up.
The result is an arrangement that expresses all Valcucine's values enclosed in compact, yet visually-light, volumes thanks to wall-hung and projecting elements.
As well as offering customers a total experience, another of Homtique's distinctive features is its all-encompassing approach to projects, as described by Kao in his closing comment: “We don't just sell products. We are particularly proud of our design-oriented outlook combined with a sharp sense of aesthetics, both of which oblige us to carefully select our brands and take particular care over each and every detail of our showroom configurations so that each product is displayed to the best possible advantage. This approach is greatly appreciated by our customers. We also offer a vast variety of items, from occasional furniture to lighting and accessories for a truly interdisciplinary and thorough approach”.
Product design by Gabriele Centazzo