Text by: Tiffany Carboni
To architect Michael Rust of Michael Rust Architect, designing a kitchen is like a symphony wherein each element must be in harmony with itself and its surroundings.
For this Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired kitchen in Syracuse, NY, Rust created a mellifluous balance of natural materials indoors that open up to the sights and sounds of the outdoors, all while using sustainable, energy-minded design features where possible. The space, which is part of the main floor’s expansive great room, draws in abundant light through energy-efficient Pella and Anderson windows and doors. Behind the scenes, sprayed Icynene insulation in the roof and radiant floor heating keep temperatures comfortable all year round.
The showstopper, however, is what’s inside. The dropped suspended ceiling cove dramatically features large structural wood beams in one direction while narrow wood strips run perpendicular to provide scale and character. “Architecturally, the ceiling trim details are like what eight notes are to music,” explains Rust. “It adds interest and becomes a small part of the whole design or musical piece.”
Crown Point Cabinetry handcrafted the intricate custom, quarter-sawn Sapele wood cabinets. Serendipitously, the custom cabinetmaker had been developing a new Prairie line of cabinetry when Michael Rust's project afforded the perfect opportunity for it's maiden installation.Crown Point's new Prairie line was a perfect fit within the Wright-inspired interior of this home.
Belvedere soapstone tops the elaborate cabinets offering a subtle color contrast between the wood and generous use of rugged stone-tiled walls. Given the enormity of the space, Rust was able to fit two islands, a small one for prepping and an L-shaped one with a step-up counter to comfortably accommodate five stools. A mini bar conveniently hangs next to the stools in anticipation of the next celebration.
Across, a bank of cabinetry running along the windows offer the perfect spot to serve refreshments from the incorporated beverage cooler by Liebherr, or coffee from the adjacent Miele coffee/microwave tower.
On the opposite side of the kitchen, a Liebherr wine cooler keeps the party flow from stagnating in one spot. To aid in the ease of throwing a bash, Rust also made sure to include a large Liebherr refrigerator and Kitchen Aid electric convection oven that features a handy gas grill and steam option.
After the crescendo has hit it peak and the pleasantries wind down, the whisper quiet dishwasher by Kitchen Aid cleans up while the homeowners bask in the festivities’ afterglow. “To me organic architecture,” Rust says, “is a layering of experiences—from the big picture down to the details—that all become notes to create the musical score of architectural design.”