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The FOLD Kitchen Island

1st May 2014

Meet Dara Huang and the FOLD Kitchen Island as featured in our recent Spring Issue 8.

The FOLD is a visionary centerpiece inspired by the idea of an island, being a segregated unique object.  Created by DESIGN HAUS LIBERTY the island merges art and design to create a unique folded kitchen island. Which is as functional as it is beautiful.

The piece can be custom built to fit any sized kitchen and contain different functional features such as: cutting blocks, plate warmers, wine fridge, bin storage and dish washer.  Besides copper, the island can also be customized to other finishes including stone, concrete, wood and other various metal.

Design Haus Liberty was founded by Dara Huang not only to shape space but also to define experiences and alter the way we perceive program.  Established in November 2012, the talented team of architects planners and designers create projects in a studio-focused atmosphere combining: art, materiality and space cutting edge over three offices in Shanghai, London and Hong Kong.

Dara graduated with her BA in Architecture, Summa Cum Laude and received her Masters Degree in Architecture at Harvard University, where she subsequently taught studio that summer. Talking exclusively to ROCO, Dara explains the inspiration and challenges in designing this innovative island -

"The inspiration came from our passion for modern art, architecture and materiality.  There was also a gap in the market for something interesting as well as functional.  Our office finds a way to make every day things unique, so to come up with an interesting kitchen island was a play on the word "island" which is defined as 'being isolated or detached'.  In that sense our island doesn't just blend in with the rest of the kitchen.

The challenge wasn't really in the concept, though it took a while to get the facets balanced perfectly through 3d modelling, I think the real challenge was figuring out how to manufacture it perfectly and make it equally durable.  It had to be beautiful and useful at the same time.

We actually designed a kitchen to go with the island.  You can see this in the renderings.  I picture the kitchen being like a clean canvas- white corian tops and matt white units.  Though, to give it a ultimate luxe touch, we've incorporated extra wide top units that are finished with frosted mirrored glass.

The island is bespoke, so it can be customised to any dimension as well fitting any appliances in it.  It also comes in other finishes such as polished concrete, stone, mirror, or even chrome.  It also features luxury details such as soft closed doors, knife blocks and internal organisers depending on how you use your kitchen."

When asked who inspires her, Dara replied -

"My background is art and architecture, so of course my previous Swiss bosses Herzog de Meuron have taught me a lot. Kengo Kuma for materiality and Japanese aesthetics. I also admire my professor from Harvard and London architect, Farshid Moussavi, who is a huge inspiration for women in design."

To view more on this design or be inspired by other works by DESIGN HAUS LIBERTY visit



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