The Acropolis Concentric Kitchen by Pininfarina
By Mike Hanlon
April 20, 2005
April 21, 2005 Italian design is synonymous with names like Pininfarina, Giugaro, Ferrari, Alessi, Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo, Valentino, Versace and more recently, Snaidero. Snaidero began as a small carpentry shop 50 years ago and has grown into one of the icons of Italian innovation and design with several of its creations being exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York – not bad for a company that only makes kitchens. Now these are clearly not ordinary kitchens, but kitchens of immense beauty and practicality such as the Acropolis. Designed by Pininfarina, the concentric kitchen combines visual appeal with the ultimate functionality- optimising every movement for minimum effort. The Acropolis has recently been revamped. Whereas the original design was a complete circle, the new version has shed its closed and strict round shape to now gently “unfurl.” The price has remained unchanged at US$157,000
Founded in the Friuli region of Northern Italy in 1946 by Rino Snaidero, the small carpentry shop grew to become a large industrial complex, which influenced the economy of the entire region. Its rapid growth was the result of the drive and determination of its founder and his commitment to quality and an endless desire to meet every client’s expectations. With its long tradition of artisan influence, Snaidero was the first Italian company to embrace the concept of integrated design, which brought worldwide recognition and acclaim as early as the 1960's.
In the late seventies, Snaidero made a dramatic change in manufacturing and left the arena of the mass-produced kitchen to concentrate on the concept of personalized kitchen environments for a new and more demanding consumer.
This idea gave birth to the concept of designing and manufacturing kitchens to the specific needs of the client. Using advanced manufacturing techniques combined with sophisticated and exotic materials, Snaidero quickly surpassed international standards.
Snaidero is today Italy’s leading manufacturer of high-quality kitchen cabinetry and regularly collaborates with leading designers to build signature pieces – kitchens of immense beauty and practicality.
In 2002, Snaidero joined with celebrated Italian design studio Pininfarina to create such a design. The goal was to create a space that moved people; a space that became its own world... the sleek circular Acropolis was the result.
Acropolis is a concentric kitchen, designed to be in the centre of a large room and to meet the needs of the person who wants everything around them – “ergonomics, dilated forms, living life full circle”, these are the basic ingredients of the kitchen of the future as designed by Pininfarina.
Originally, Acropolis was designed with a round shape, to be positioned in the middle of the room in a spacious apartment. With its circular design, everything in the Acropolis kitchen is within easy reach, combining a unique aesthetic with economy of movement.
Now the Acropolis has evolved still further still, aiming to meet the needs of users in terms of space and functionality without losing its character of an imposing shape. Whereas the original design was a complete circle, the new version has shed its closed and strict round shape to now gently “unfurl” and open up as though to welcome the rest of the surroundings within it.
Snaidero says the new Acropolis “still fills the need of the person who asserts his superiority over his domain - who desires to be the main character at the center of it all and who desires to experience life at 360°.”
“The basic ingredients are still ergonomics and generous forms. The updated design still meets the needs of consumers in terms of space and functionality (placing everything within easy reach) without losing the character of its imposing shape that dominates and focuses attention. ACROPOLIS combines visual appeal with ultimate functionality- optimising every movement for minimum effort.
Snaidero USA, the North American marketing arm of Snaidero recently sold the first of the “futuristic” ACROPOLIS kitchens into a private home in America.
Sold by Studio Snaidero Wisconsin, the radical Acropolis space-age cabinet design will become the focal point of a dramatic home remodelling in Edina, Minnesota, an affluent Twin Cities suburb. The Pininfarina"kitchen in the round" sells for US$157,000 and is installed by Italian craftsmen.
The Acropolis takes traditional kitchen design to the edge of Italian modernism. The concept behind the circular design originated from Paolo Pininfarina's comparison of the drum set to the kitchen, where both the drummer and the cook express their creativity and reveal their abilities to the audience. Acropolis looks to the auto industry to ensure aesthetic delight, egonomics, safety, strength, and a long life.
The fully concentric aluminum structure has no angles or corners. Instead elements are invisibly joined by custom fittings, giving the kitchen a unique self-support. The result is a kitchen that places the user at the center of their surroundings, allowing them to take charge of their life. The Acropolis is a winner of the "Good Design" award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.