Five winners of the bulthaup competition reflect on the home during the lockdown period

Dog resting next to a bulthaup kitchen

Our slow return to some form of normal life is a good time to reflect on the role of the home and its purposes. Confinement has forced each one of us to experience our home with unusual intensity, allowing us to assess both its virtues and its deficiencies. That is why we have called on five winners of the bulthaup competition to tell us about their thoughts on the home, as well as to talk to us of their favorite place within their homes. Last of all, following the new bulthaup communication campaign, and sharing its focus on reflecting about the need to reconsider individuals and their emotional environments, we asked them to tell us what some of the key concepts in that campaign meant to them.

How has this lockdown influenced your thoughts about the role of the home?

Sandra Soler

- Sandra Soler: I believe this crisis is bound to change our everyday practices and our mindsets, highlighting the need for a sustainable lifestyle based on values such as simplicity, authenticity, serenity, and caring for others and for the environment. Now more than ever is the time to enjoy our home, the place that gives us shelter and protection, where our experience of the world begins and our earliest social relationships unfold.

- Elina Vilà: This mandatory, simultaneous isolation is very strange. We’re all having an intense experience of confinement: every one of us is sheltered within the boundaries of our dwelling. The first question that comes up is how do I feel at home –a question that we have all asked ourselves at the same time. It is definitely an experience that will make us give more thought to the spaces that are capable of making us feel at ease.

Osvaldo Luppi

- Osvaldo Luppi: Our house, our home, is our truth. If we are happy at home, we are also happy out in the world. Many dwellings aren’t properly equipped for people to spend so much time in them. They are conceived for sleeping, period. That has to change. Regulations must ensure that homes are more flexible, with better lighting and ventilation, and an aesthetic conception that allows each person to appropriate the space.

- Francesc Rifé: This crisis has given me an opportunity to rediscover my home. You often have certain ideas about design, but only when you experience them over a long period of time do you actually internalize them. If there is one thing that I am sure of after this lockdown period, it’s the notion of simplicity. The key to a good life is enjoying what is strictly necessary.

Marcos Catalán

- Marcos Catalán: During our confinement, we have set our homes in overdrive. By putting them to the test day after day, we have gained awareness of their shortcomings and strengths. At this moment, our homes are not only the setting where our family life unfolds; we are forcing them to replace some of the services we usually get from the public spaces in the city. That leads me to think that the home of the future will have to include a broader plan that can allow us to isolate ourselves from a more “hostile” public environment. Technology is what will enable us to repurpose our homes!

Where in your home do you feel most comfortable, and why? What feelings does that place elicit for you?

- Sandra Soler: In my office, where most of my projects are born. It’s the part of the house that is most connected to the outdoors. It has a relaxing, calming effect for me.

Elina Vilà

- Elina Vilà: There’s not any one part of the home where I feel more comfortable than another. It may seem obvious, but the way we inhabit our home, our movements are fairly automatic. Depending on the time of day, the light, or the weather, our relationship with our home becomes more intense.

- Osvaldo Luppi: The kitchen, without a doubt. It’s gathering, fire, food, life.

Francesc Rifé

- Francesc Rifé: The kitchen is, literally, the center of the house. We have turned it into a sort of agora. It’s a space that makes me very happy.

- Marcos Catalán: We live in a small penthouse with a large, open terrace. That’s the place we enjoy most. Now that we’re in lockdown, it turns into a living room, a dining room, an office, and even a kitchen.

Photographer: Adrian Pedrazas Profumo

Photos from top to bottom: Sandra Soler, Osvaldo Luppi, Marcos Catalán, Elina Vilà and Francesc Rifé.

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