Designed to Disappear: The Case For the Minimal Kitchen

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By Jenny Xie / Published by Dwell
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Brought together by a shared heritage in Bauhaus principles, architect Dan Brunn and Bosch carry the torch for simple, clean, and purposeful design.

It was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, that icon of the Bauhaus movement, who borrowed the phrase "less is more" from the poet Robert Browning and made it a way of life. This school of thought has had monumental impact on generations of designers and architects, of which Los Angeles-based architect Dan Brunn is notably included. Originally from Israel, Brunn’s childhood in Tel Aviv immersed him in Bauhaus architecture. "The restraint of these buildings taught me that space, and how we experience that space, are of paramount importance," explains Brunn. Today, the work of Dan Brunn Architecture reflects this influence in its clean, modernist lines and emphasis on purposeful design. It’s fitting, then, that Brunn has had a fruitful partnership with Bosch, where Bauhaus principles have been the pervading philosophy for over 125 years.

"I love efficient, purposeful design," says Brunn. "Coincidentally, Bosch’s own roots stem from the same [place]. Bauhaus is in my blood and importantly deep in Bosch’s philosophy." 

In a kitchen that Brunn built using Bosch appliances, an understated black-and-white palette is paired with a minimal design. The project was named Wrap It Up as an allusion to the way the Caesarstone runs up the wall to create a shelf. "Anytime we do a project," says Brunn, "we have to do something different and push the boundaries." The shelf also hides a secret compartment where the homeowner can slide in a cutting board for easy, accessible, and hygienic storage.

In a kitchen that Brunn built using Bosch appliances, an understated black-and-white palette is paired with a minimal design. The project was named Wrap It Up as an allusion to the way the Caesarstone runs up the wall to create a shelf. "Anytime we do a project," says Brunn, "we have to do something different and push the boundaries." The shelf also hides a secret compartment where the homeowner can slide in a cutting board for easy, accessible, and hygienic storage.

 Showcasing authentic European design, Bosch pares away unnecessary frills and embellishments for home appliances that marry form and function. "It’s not about fashion, it’s about longevity and timelessness," says Brunn in describing Bosch designs. "There are no extra knobs where there shouldn’t be knobs. It’s a very clean palette and a very purposeful design."

"Bauhaus is in my blood and importantly deep in Bosch’s philosophy." -Dan Brunn

A Bosch 36" Gas Cooktop and 36" Downdraft Ventilation are integrated into the counter, allowing the space to feel open and unobstructed by a stove hood.

A Bosch 36" Gas Cooktop and 36" Downdraft Ventilation are integrated into the counter, allowing the space to feel open and unobstructed by a stove hood.

Bosch’s heritage in Bauhaus design lends itself to the modern home, which calls on simple and elegant functionality to balance busy—and all too often, chaotic—lifestyles. As a leader in his field, Brunn has special access to design trends. As he describes, "I get to see what design connoisseurs are looking for before they even enter a showroom or flip through magazines and catalogues." From his vantage point, he sees how kitchen design and its appliances are becoming more streamlined to provide comfort and efficiency in the home. Unobtrusive in the kitchen and intuitive to use, Bosch appliances aid in what Brunn calls a "re-domesticating" of the kitchen, in that "the kitchen is part of family space, and is integral in terms of its furniture."

While the cooking appliances remain in the open, the Bosch refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher are integrated into the cabinetry. "They're hidden to create a furniture aesthetic," says Brunn, which was a priority to allow the kitchen to flow into the rest of the home.

While the cooking appliances remain in the open, the Bosch refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher are integrated into the cabinetry. "They're hidden to create a furniture aesthetic," says Brunn, which was a priority to allow the kitchen to flow into the rest of the home.

Good design that is guided by function first and foremost must be innovative, and Bosch’s commitment to utility has helped it set new standards in the industry. The French door refrigerator with VitaFresh precisely controls humidity to keep food fresh, crisp, and nutritious for longer, and the dishwasher comes with an Extra Dry heating mode for perfectly dried loads. One of Brunn’s favorite features is the SideOpening door on the Bosch wall oven, which alleviates the strain of loading and unloading dishes. "In a way, small changes are very big changes in the appliance industry," says Brunn. "The SideOpening doors are easier to use because you don’t have this thing you have to maneuver around. These kinds of ideas aren’t so easy to [execute] in this field, but Bosch really tackles them." 

Often overlooked, the downdraft vent from Bosch is one of Brunn's favorite appliances. "It's a unique device," he says. "It can be hidden away when you don't use it. Instead of the fumes going throughout the space, this will actually bring the fumes back."

Often overlooked, the downdraft vent from Bosch is one of Brunn's favorite appliances. "It's a unique device," he says. "It can be hidden away when you don't use it. Instead of the fumes going throughout the space, this will actually bring the fumes back."