The bulthaup b2 workbench: lived-in spaces

An environment conducive to creative work

An environment conducive to creative work

The entire creative process flows smoothly if the setting is right. The bulthaup b2 workbench provides order and serenity as the functions of preparing, washing, and cooking are lined up in a sequence of surfaces; it can also be adapted to include a surface for people to gather and connect, a place where family and friends can sit down to keep the cooks company, help them with their tasks, and enjoy sharing the final result of their efforts.

The workbench can be all of the above or only a part: as it is made up of individual modules placed between two clamping jaws, the user can choose one or several, depending on his or her particular needs and preferences, and select a sequence of materials–stainless steel, natural stone, or solid wood.

A modular structure: total versatility

The flexible sealing profile placed between the modules–an exclusive bulthaup design–guarantees watertight joints that are easy to assemble and disassemble. Water, gas, and electric power connections are gracefully concealed with aluminum-colored flexible tubing. In addition, the clamping jaws at both ends of the workbench are equipped with a functional gap that can be used to hang utensils and containers, keeping essential items close at hand at all times.

A long history of mobility

 

The first kitchen workbench that bulthaup launched in 1988 was utterly revolutionary: in the midst of the trend of converting industrial spaces into lofts, bulthaup offered a highly mobile, flexible element that included all the essentials of a kitchen in one single unit. Decades later, the Vienna-based design group EOOS reinterpreted the workbench as part of its analysis of archetypal images, customs, and age-old rituals that led to the development of the b2 system, for which mobility and adaptability continued to be key factors.

Given its high versatility, the b2 workbench comes alive in many different ways. Interior designer and bulthaup customer Agnès Blanch tells us how she chose to configure her workbench and her reasons for doing so.

 

Agnès Blanch tells us about the presence of the bulthaup b2 workbench in her everyday life

When interior designers conceive the spaces for their own homes, there are no longer any excuses, distractions, or concessions to their clients. It is their chance to hone down their reasoning, their aesthetic preferences, and their rationalization of functionality in order to shape the surroundings in which they envision themselves living for years to come. This was the case for Agnès Blanch when she was deciding how to overhaul the penthouse where she now lives in Barcelona. She knew she wanted to have an open-plan space, with no architectural barriers between the kitchen and the dining and living areas. After considering several options, Agnès found one of them increasingly convincing: a bulthaup b2 workbench to join the two areas, providing a surface for cooking, one for preparing, and a third one for eating, all in a smooth sequence of utmost simplicity and elegance. Although the bulthaup b3 units against the two kitchen walls house all the storage space, the water point, and most of the appliances, the place where the action really happens is there—in the juncture between spaces embodied by the workbench.

We asked Agnès about her decision-making process and its outcome.

What combination did you choose among the available options?

I chose three 120-cm modules: one cooking area, made of stainless steel; another stainless steel surface for preparation; and a third natural stone surface for eating.

What were your reasons for choosing the workbench instead of a more conventional kitchen?

I chose it for its sculptural, light character, being an open structure with legs instead of a conventional kitchen island. I also wanted a kitchen that opened up seamlessly onto the living area as part of a whole. I wanted the island to merge with the living and dining room furniture rather than being part of the kitchen. That’s why I did away with the image of an extractor hood, downplaying the presence of the cooking area.

What does the b2 workbench feel like in your everyday life?

It provides us with the perfect setting for many moments with our friends and our other family members. The kitchen has become part of our everyday lives.

Do you remember the first day you used your b2 workbench?

My daughters Blanca and Ada decided to celebrate the occasion making baby eels with French fries; they did the cooking. I loved it.

What aspect of the b2 workbench’s modularity and flexibility was useful to you?

It allowed me to configure a continuous surface made up of three elements for different uses.

And that is where Agnès and her family continue to cook together, chat, share breakfast and dinner. It is also where she sits in silence at other, solitary moments, feeling the heat of the teacup on her palm, her book open on the stone surface. It is where the bulthaup b2 workbench continues to stand, fully committed to its many roles.

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