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Zaha Hadid Architects

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  • Milan, Italy
  • 2005 – 2006
  • DuPont and Ernestomeda
  • Complete
  • Main Island: 4.5 x 0.8 x 1.8m Second Island: 1.2 x 1.6 x 0.9m Wall Panels: 100 pieces of 0.6 x 0.6m

In line with a series of studies emphasising the concept of fluidity, observed in the melting of ice and the flow of glaciers, the Z-island comprises a main cooking island, a secondary island and a background of wall panels.  A futuristic outlook on what a kitchen might be in the 21st Century.

Thanks to the application of advanced 3D software from the field of ship design, we were able to explore complex surfaces and their productivity for domestic environments.

The overall composition contains the main cooking island, the secondary island and a background of wall panels. The main island is an elongated cantilevering shape which evolves continuously from a horizontal cooking and eating surface into a vertical digital surface. In contrast, the secondary island resembles a point/drop containing the sink, dishwasher and a shelving unit.

The background is an elevation of a wavy morphological puzzle consisting of modular thermoformed Corian elements that are rotated and reassembled in various ways, creating complex patterns on the interior walls.

Both islands are free-standing, conceived as centre points within a larger loft-like environment. All cooking functions are inscribed on the main island’s top surface, along with a series of electronic features, and the table integrates nearly 2,000 LED’s which are programmable by the user.

Three scent dispensers allow a range of aromas to be created while a specially developed heating membrane is invisibly integrated into the Corian surface, allowing food to be kept warm over an extended period. Food is prepared on an induction cooking hob which is flush with the neighbouring surface and all functions are steered via a main user-friendly touch-control centre panel.

We have integrated a flat LCD screen in the main island’s vertical surface, enabling the user to surf the internet or watch TV and, beneath it, a mini Mac can be used to listen to iTunes.

As an extension of the island, a wall paneling system fills the atmosphere with changing light and sound, according to the specific occasion. In certain areas, these panels also serve as shelving unit doors and hide additional storing areas.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Thomas Vietzke

Design Team

Georgios Maillies, Maurice Martel, Katharina Neuhaus, Ariane Stracke


Company Hasenkopf, Germany