A vision shared is sometimes worth twice as much. K-House is a joint effort between Kāna Objects and Kacper Niezabitowski in Northern Italy. Shrouded in a defining openness, the project addresses the pristine nature of materiality and a respect for craftsmanship, down to the millimetre. This minimalist pavilion concept plays on the incoming daylight, enlarging and stretching it until it produces its own dimension.
KĀNA objects and Kacper Niezabitowski may have followed different paths to date, but their respective interests in craftsmanship and architecture melded in this project into a collaboration that highlights both talents in all their glory. The story of Inge Lagae and furniture goes back, in essence, to the drive for design that typified her even as a child. From a young age, she was encouraged to nurture and explore her creativity. For instance, she cherishes fond memories of one of her primary school teachers, who helped her get started with ceramics, painting, and even writing plays. Later, she would study set design and live in Brussels for a while. Then, she decided to move to Indonesia, where she worked for a number of Brussels antique dealers, among others. After returning to the Belgian capital, she started combining interior design with freelance work in architecture and furniture design. She eventually decided to start designing custom-made furniture in 2005: the important step from which KĀNA objects emerged. When selecting pieces for residential projects, she noticed that she rarely really found what she was looking for. Size, colour or finish that inevitably deviated from the exact image she had in mind gave her the idea to simply start making her own designs. Trends aside, she focuses on pieces that last for years, preferably several decades, and also simply get more beautiful with the passage of time. In this way, she wants to contribute to slowing down our consumer-focused society. According to her, objects should have their own soul; a goal she achieves herself by ensuring that each creation is handmade and the materials are allowed to be as natural as possible. Her great love in this story is wood. Trees, in fact, have won their own place in her heart, so she loyally picks out the material herself at the sawmill before it leaves for the furniture maker. By continuously maintaining this standard, she has since created a coveted collection in which you will find designs that exude a certain primal quality.
Rich in impressions
The second part of this collaboration is reserved for Kacper Niezabitowski, a young Polish architect still studying but not unknown to us before. Despite his age, he already submitted ambitious designs in the past that clearly reflected his burgeoning vision. Like Belgian Lagae, he has an appreciation for organic and rugged materials. Think natural oak and stone, raw linen, vintage hemp, and lime. Furthermore, in his earlier work we saw a characterising audacity with properties, as well as a loyalty to large spaces that never lack a lasting impression. Meanwhile, he has clearly deepened and honed that aesthetic even more, for which this project provides an ideal stage. The property in question is a residential new build on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. While he was responsible for the architectural aspect, Lagae took care of the furniture. Conceptually, the project took the form of a pavilion. For the floor plan, a U-shape was chosen, which does excellent justice to the proportions and creates a monumental atmosphere from the first step inside. One of the main objectives was to keep the material palette as natural as possible. The facades made of lime plaster proved to be essential for this. On the one hand, they strengthen the connection with the outdoor environment; on the other, they lend them – selves easily to the addition of large openings towards the lake. Inside, for example, you can notice solid oak, as in the form of sliding doors, and the repeated integration of natural elements. A fitting example is the tree stumps that separate the dining room from the entrance hall, composing a kind of corridor. Rough, smoked oak, in turn, is the material of choice in the kitchen, which is also custom-made.
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