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Home: Car Quality

Andrew Myers

A collaboration between Poggenpohl and Porsche Design Group has produced a kitchen that is as sleek and as sophisticated as a sports car. Last fall, the two companies—the 116-year-old German kitchen manufacturer and the 36-year-old German maker of high-end men’s products (a subsidiary of the carmaker Porsche)—revealed their finished kitchen to VIPs at Porsche’s automaking factory in Leipzig, Germany. (Porsche conceived the design, and Poggenpohl built the kitchen.) Poggenpohl began taking orders for the customizable P’7340 ($85,000 to $150,000) in January, and the first U.S. deliveries are scheduled for this summer.

The factory was an appropriate venue for the unveiling, because the P’7340’s car quotient, at least aesthetically, is high. Consider, for starters, the overall framework made from aluminum, a supercar staple. The various large, modular rectangular frames have an anodized coating that enhances their metallic sheen. The frames, whose clean lines evoke those of a sports car’s body, contain the kitchen’s components (cabinets, drawers, appliances) and can be customized according to your specifications.

You may order the kitchen’s work surfaces in black granite or glass, and the cabinet fronts can be made from lacquered glass, brushed pine, or dark wood. Both of the woods are textured. "The wood is a beautiful complement to the aluminum," says Roland Heiler, managing director of Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See, Austria. "I love the tension between them." Open spaces between the cabinets can be filled with panels made from the woods or the glass.

It might be a stretch to say that the P’7340’s functionality recalls that of a high-performance auto, but you can work in and move around the kitchen as easily as you can maneuver a well-engineered vehicle. The appliances are made exclusively for the P’7340 by Miele & Cie of Gütersloh, Germany, and include a convection oven, steam oven, food-warming drawer, and built-in coffeemaker, all of which feature flush sensors, instead of protruding buttons or knobs, that cue their operation. The induction cooktop, with five cooking zones, has user-friendly touch controls and forms a continuous, unobtrusive plane with the glass or granite countertops. Cabinet facades keep the dishwasher, refrigerator, and ventilation hood out of plain sight and thus out of your way, and an ambient lighting system, which also is activated by touch controls, is housed within the kitchen’s aluminum framework.

Of the P’7340’s many features, its handles-free operation might be your favorite. Press a finger to the front of any door, drawer, or other pull-out unit, and voilà—the compartments slide toward you slightly, allowing you to pull them farther out. Touch the extended unit again, and it retracts to the closed position. (A hidden, spacer pin–activated mechanism does the trick.) Brushed aluminum handles are available as an alternative to the no-handles design, but they are perhaps less than ideal because the protruding fitments disrupt the kitchen’s streamlined look.

An audiovisual system, a sideboard, and a dining table, by contrast, do nothing of the sort; each appears to be a seamless fit for the P’7340. The LCD HDTV, manufactured by the Swiss company Ad Notam, has a 27.32-by-14.88-inch screen area; the unit integrates into the kitchen’s glass surface, works without thermal ventilation, and affords both analog and digital connections. The glass-shelved sideboard offers nearly 2-foot-wide spaces in which to display your stemware, artworks, or other items under the diffused light that emanates from the piece’s integrated lighting system. And the six-seat, wood-and-titanium dining table, whose design is meant to match that of the kitchen island, provides a polished place for you and yours to park.

Poggenpohl, 973.812.8900, +49.5221.381.0, www.poggenpohlusa.com

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