Kitchen Unit JD

  • Joseph Dirand
  • Obumex
  • Paonazzo
Joseph Dirand, one of the important Parisian trendsetters from the last decade, is gradually conquering the international architecture and design scenes. Not only has he drawn private homes, but also luxury hotels and boutiques for Chloé, Pucci, Balmain, Rick Owens and Alexander Wang. For years his name has been on speed dial with aesthetes, who love his opulent minimalism. The Belgian custom design company Obumex also recently worked with Dirand; he designed a signature kitchen for them, a style statement petrified as a marble sculpture.

The kitchen island can be viewed as a kind of ‘architectural plate tectonics’. It’s as if you’re in the stone quarry cooking amidst newly minded marble blocks. Dirand sets the bar high in this bold balancing act. The counter has a dizzyingly long cantilever, like the monumental awning of a stunt building. The eating area is seemingly kept in balance by a massive slab of marble that has a sink recessed into it. Functionality is not the prime concern here. The aesthetics are the result of microarchitecture and engineering. 

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With Dirand, the finesse is as much in the interesting details as it is in big, sculptural gestures. But if there is something that comes through his work, it is his clear predilection for modernism and sculpture. To put it bluntly, this kitchen is closer to Brancusi than to Rodin, it is more Le Corbusier than John Lautner. Dirand’s interiors ooze refinement. They are reduced to a purely architectural play of lines, volumes, and light, but without becoming radically empty boxes. The most important set pieces in the narrative scenographies he draws for his jet-set clientele are the materials, interior views, and art objects. Interiors to him are like a kind of Land Art: an immersive setup within which daily life takes place. 

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