May 04, 2013



The kitchen project terra design by Claudio Silvestrin. The earth, its waters, its forests and its mountains is extraordinarily beautiful in itself, in its simple and bare presence. Differently from everyday artefacts, in which their use and function are predominant, earth is what it is, independently from what we are, what we do and what use we give to it. Conceiving the terra kitchen i imagined an object, which, useful and functional, presents itself with the same strength as nature: Solid, timeless and abstract. I expressed the immense value of the earth with a rigorous geometrical shape and natural materials - porphiry and cedar. Cooking on a porphiry worktop, which is twenty-eight million years old, makes me feel reverent and fortunate at the same time.
The 45° edge union between the worktop and fronts, as well as the narrow vertical and horizontal profiles, shape regular and cadenced volumes. Tall units also have a similar module. Terra was originally designed in stone, but it is now available in wood, high gloss or matt lacquer.
Terra in fossil noir stone, brushed waterjet finish.
Lati stained wood carcass.



Minotti cucine has always been in ponton di Sant’ambrogio di Valpolicella, in the province of Verona. The church of San Giorgio in a closeby little borough of early christian origin has been source of inspiration for Minotti Cucine. Its peculiar aspect evokes three main concepts: A majestic, mono- chrome and –material ethos.
The walls and floors of this sacred building are made up of large stone slabs coming from this area: The lessinia white stone. Its pure volumes are emphasized by the natural light filtering from the few, long and narrow openings. At first the inside is apparently dark, but once the visitor’s eyes get used to this half-light, it’s unavoidable to perceive “the visual silence and spiritual peace”.
The majesty of San Giorgio church, whose main expression is the massive and vertical presence of the bell tower, has inspired Minotti Cucine to design thick volumes. It also influenced the architecture of Minotti Cucine seat: the perfect proportions can be observed in the long and narrow walkway made up of large white lessinia stone slabs.
Moreover, the surrounding areas of Minotti Cucine have always been recognized as those where stone is treated and cut. The local culture traditionally relied on the wisdom and high quality of crafty masters.
Since the 60s and 70s Minotti Cucine has designed kitchens with stone worktops and then with stone sinks following an antique tradition. A further evolution has been designing stone fronts, thus reaching a horizontal and vertical material uniqueness. The kitchen that has been exposed for 10 years in the company’s garden is timeless evidence of this history.
A further valuable aspect of minotti cucine is its custom-made approach: each project is unique, designed and manufactured to satisfy every single and exclusive need.



Born in 1954, Claudio Silvestrin studied under A. G. Fronzoni in Milan and at the Architectural Association in London. His integrity, clarity of mind, inventiveness and concern for details is reflected in his architecture: austere but not extreme, contemporary yet timeless, calming but not ascetic, strong but not intimidating, elegant but not ostentatious, simple but not soulless.
Claudio Silvestrin Architects was established in 1989 with offices in London, and since 2006 Milan also. The work of the practice encompasses real estate developments, newly built houses and resort for private residence, art galleries and museums, domestic and retail interiors and furniture design. Clients include Giorgio Armani, Illy Caffe, Anish Kapoor, Calvin Klein, Poltrona Frau, Victorio Miro, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo for whom he has designed the museum in Turin and the internationally acclaimed hip hop artist and producer Kanye West.
Claudio Silvestrin Architects have completed the Victoria Miro Private Collection Space in London and a 5.000 m2 wellness centre in South Korea. They are currently building a new 40.000 m2 construction resort in Ceara, Brazil, including a hotel, spa and villas. They are also building two new 20.000 m2 developments of 31 villas in Singapore as well as 25.000 m2 fashion mall in Turin, Italy. The practice is currently working on apartments and villas in USA and Europe.
2011   South East Asia property Awards, Best Architectural design Sandy Island Housing Development, Sentosa, Singapore
2011   South East Asia property Awards, Best Housing Development Sandy Island Housing Development, Sentosa, Singapore
2009   Chicago Athenaeum ınternational Architectural Award Victoria Miro Private Collection Space, Londra
2009   CNBC Asia – Pacific Property Awards, Best Development Sandy Island Housing Development, Sentosa, Singapore
2008   Archip – Domus, Russia
2008   Archip – Domus, Russia Magazine award
P Penthouse, Montecarlo
2008   Best Communicator Award
            La Cava, a stone installation for II Casone at Marmomacc, verona
2005   Wallpaper Magazine Design Awards
            Terra Kitchen for Minotti Cucine
2005   Travel + Leisure Magazine Design Awards
            Princi Bakery XXV Aprile, Milan
2005   International Award Architecture in Stone
Giorgio armani Worldwide Image
2003   Gold Medal Award for Italian Architecture at the Triennale in Milan
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
2003   Contract World Award and Atrib Award
            Giorgio Armani Worldwide Image

I have been educated to believe that being an architect is a vocation, just as it is a vocation to be a priest. I have been educated to believe that architecture is the most complete form of art, bridging man and nature, earth and sky, god and mortals. I have believed, and still do, that architecture is composing poetry on earth in partnership with the earth; that architecture has the role of transmitting the emotion of matter, space, light and water. . I think the most popular contemporary construction nowadays is the exaltation of perverse and simplistic forms, reflecting a union that is neurotic and narcissistic, ignoring five thousand years or more of history. Modern man feels that he is the centre of the universe; his arrogance and vanity demand constructions that are in fact mirrors. The powerful man and the neurotic man subconsciously recognize themselves in the high-tech style, in sensationalist and deconstructive architecture. One must be blind or asleep not to notice: We are a materialistic civilisation of institutionalised, perverse forms. It is a real disaster: The forms of contemporary construction have separated from the stars. The clearest paradox, represented by religious buildings, is the most saddening. these edifices are sensationalistic, self - gratifications in reinforced concrete; they have ceased to be spaces for god and have become places for man. It is not a matter of right or wrong but of acknowledging and being aware of this, in order to make decisions that embody firm principles. The contemporary architect is fortunate that he or she has the freedom of choice, a responsible choice. One should ask: Is architecture the expression of a deepening thought or is it a non-critical conformity? Questioning does not mean going against evolution and progress; on the contrary, serious questioning can bring a contribution to awaken the sensitivity of man towards an evolution that is not only technological and materialistic but a total evolution that is simultaneously material and spiritual, modern and archaic, anthropological and ecological. Religious attitude living the profession of contemporary architect in a religious manner requires a psychological trauma that is almost permanent. To clarify, i'm not speaking of recognised and institutionalized religion, but of a religious attitude, serious, profound, rigorous, healthy and full. A rock against rampant corruption, with unshaken faith in onès mission and in the gift of talent one wants to offer in order to ensure the survival of sensibility in the world. Proposing the poetry of space with novelty and individuality leads to uncertainty and incomprehension, and the interlocutor is caught off guard. If for materials you propose water rather than plastic, stone rather than glass, a void rather than unconditional exploitation of space, elegance rather than sensationalism, the symbol rather than the captivating effect, the magic of light rather than light as a lux quantity, a primitive sense rather than a contemporary one. They respond: -architect, enough with poetry, nobody wants it anymore, people don't understand it anyway! Architect, you're so old fashioned! Architect, very nice! But the space needs to be exploited, at the price i paid for it! Architect, you're too sophisticated! Architect, but there isn't enough light! -architect, what are archetypes? Paradoxically the more you encounter ignorance, lack of sensibility, arrogance, mediocrity and corruption, the stronger the desire not to succumb to this poisoning of the spirit. It's true, if you play the game, you can build big, have multimedia success, fame, money and power. And there is freedom to choose, which, fortunately, every architect or designer has today. Sure, the powerful make you pay for it, they don't allow you to win a competition because you didn't dine with a member of the jury, they don't give you a building permit because you don't propose what is in vogue at the moment, they don't choose you because you're not part of their club. I remember once at a presentation for a residential project competition in Switzerland, the presiding professor of the jury said that my project had a palladium flavour. I blushed from the embarrassment, from the surprise and from the compliment. Thanks! I responded innocently. I was eliminated, because for that swiss scholar, palladium meant italian and, therefore, not modern. At a presentation at the landmark of New York, they told me that rather than presenting a project with an individual and unique configuration, as the one i proposed, i had to take inspiration from recently constructed buildings designed by the usual big names. At a competition in which i participated in Italy, the first seven prizes where given to seven university professors of the same city, not one architect of national fame of international fame – absolutely outrageous. To defend their territory, the bosses of the various clans (including those of architects) put obstacles in your way and when you manage to build something, they prevent communication of your achievements or render them insignificant in the context of contemporary culture. My fortune is, on one hand, my faith in the meaning of my work and, on the other, my spontaneity in forgetting about the disappointments, betrayals and eliminations and looking forward, pushing ahead like an elephant, with the enthusiasm of doing and creating, albeit with the knowledge that human ingratitude knows no limits. The supreme ambition great architects and great architecture are my source of inspiration when it comes to my ethics and designs. But that is not all: essays, philosophy, poetry, even reading the newspaper can stimulate my creative thought process and my design choices. On 20th december 2004 i read an excellent article by Francesco Alberoni in Corriere Della Sera, entitled ‘a world that moves very fast but knows not how to dream'. the writer accurately observes the results that cultural relativism, Its frenzy and superficiality, have had on modern society. We might ask ourselves what this has to do with the occupation of architect. Well nothing, if we believe in tidy categorisation and we view the profession as specialist and compartmentalised. I believe however that being an architect does not mean being removed from cultural relativism, the kafkaesque machine. Indeed i believe it expresses the concept just as well as a fashion magazine or a cd that is used up and quickly forgotten. The majority of critics within the sector believe that the architect should express the culture of his time. The dogmatic architect views this media truth as absolute. Luckily for me this ‘fact' is not written in any sacred texts or in plato, and so doubting its authenticity is legitimate. Indeed i would go even further and suggest that the very task of the architect is not to express the values of cultural relativism or even his own contemporary culture. In 1927, the German Pavilion designed by Mies Van der Rohe in barcelona was a masterpiece that broke completely from the conventions of the time. A masterpiece that is still visible today, its innovative spirit certainly didn't reflect the predominant culture of its day. Alberoni talks about decadence in his article but at the same time also of hope, dreams and spirituality. The spirituality of the layman is pointless, a waste, redundant. Alberoni's conclusion should perhaps be food for thought for the designer who says ‘not me!' or for the planner who refuses to construct ‘self-expressing' perverse forms of today's sensationalism. The article concludes thus: ‘[because there is] a place where every now and then we can take shelter, purify ourselves, find some peace and come out again stronger. Without this we would slide into an intolerable abyss.' the more superficial reader may think of an exotic holiday destination, but when Alberoni talks of purification he is not talking of our bodies in terms of tired flesh and bones, or a nervous system fraught with stress, but rather the purification of the mind. Is this the supreme ambition of architecture? And why supreme? Because a purified mind puts the driving force of our inner animal desire to sleep and awakens our consciousness of the divine that exists in nature. The man-animal makes room for the man-spiritual.