Article  - Kitchen Architecture, Hampstead

Many of our projects go far beyond simply designing bespoke kitchens and fitted furniture. We spend much of our time thinking about the flow of our clients interior and kitchen architecture. This project, named internally as “The Pod”, is no exception.  In this case the kitchen is the architecture.  It’s a cuboid, 7.9 metres long, 2.1 metres wide and 2.5 metres tall.  It has architectural walls abutting it at both ends and spanning over the top of it centrally, and contains two corridors, seven doors, services storage and a WC.  Our 3D animated flythrough can be seen on the video below:


Assembling The Pod
The video below shows The Pod being built in Artichoke’s workshops over a 4 week period. Every one of Artichoke’s bespoke kitchen and fitted furniture projects are assembled on our site in this way to check for quality and ensure all elements and components fit perfectly, that the veneers run through on all joints and mitred corners and that all moving parts work seamlessly.

Background to The Pod
The original house, a Victorian Villa in Hampstead, North London, was almost entirely demolished with exception of the architecture of the front facade which was retained for planning.

An additional basement was added and a large bespoke kitchen was designed over a new open beam structure spanning approximately 10 metres over the garden.   The kitchen itself features solid Calacatta marble floor slabs, worktop and wall panels which lead up to a glass ceiling 3.6 metres high.  The marble floors, worktops and wall panels were all cut from corresponding slabs of marble, with the book-matched veining pattern flowing around all the surfaces.

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Artichoke’s 3D elevation of the kitchen


At the core of the kitchen below sits “The Pod”

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The cuboid Pod is both architecture and furniture


The Pod

A total of seven doors interact with The Pod.  Within it there is a corridor through to the dining room with storage cupboards flanking both sides, a fully veneered W.C. with a solid carved Calacatta marble sink on a cantilevered veneered box and fibre optic lighting.

On the exterior face of The Pod are open shelves which can be covered over by two sliding panels that pull together on hidden magnets.  These panels can be parked out of use either side of the shelves, used to cover the shelves, or slid across to the far end of The Pod where they meet another sliding 1.8 metre wide painted panel and a hinged 1.7 metre wide hinged panel to close off the hallway and study areas.

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The Pod with open doors and panels.

The Pod with sliding doors and pivot doors engaged.

Passing down through The Pod is a vast array of plumbing, electrical, lighting, AV and air conditioning services, and spanning across the top are five fan coil air conditioning units.  A WC is hidden at one end of The Pod.

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The view into the kitchen with the door to the internal WC hidden within The Pod


The Pod Materials
The central dark wood section is made entirely from Louro Pretto veneer, a rich and beautiful timber which looks similar to Rosewood.  The veneer grain follows through continuously on each of the numerous mitred corners.

Above The Pod there is a continuous run of Elm veneered panels which are all removable to provide access to the air conditioning units. These panels run in the same plane with the bespoke kitchen cabinetry to create a wall of Elm veneer spanning the entire room.

All the handles and hinges for The Pod were bespoke designed and made in bronze to be as discreet as possible.

The sliding door gear was hidden away into the furniture, and the tracks were specially anodised black by us so as not to be noticed.

Setting Out The Pod
The green arrows below show the six doors that slide and pivot in or onto The Pod.

The setting out of The Pod was incredibly complex.  The floor was partly suspended and liable to shifting as the building settled, and a considerable amount of time was spent directing the builders to ensure the architecture was precisely where it was meant to be to ensure all doors, particular the 3 suspended off the architecture, worked seamlessly with the furniture.

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pod air con removed


Click to expand:  Artichoke’s AutoCad Inventor model of The Pod with the roof removed show the internal layout and stricture of the piece.

Completed Images of The Pod
The images below show The Pod completed and ready for client’s personal effects.

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