The Envol Project, a light-filled HIMACS kitchen inspired by nature

This creative design from Charlotte Raynaud Hegenbart combines a visually seamless HIMACS island unit with bespoke joinery from Hegenbart Cabinetmakers. The spectacular island draws the eye with its simple yet sophisticated finish which not only looks great, but is super hygienic, and robust enough to withstand daily wear for many years to come.

For Charlotte Raynaud, “the kitchen is the centre of the home and its design should encourage people to move around, spend time together and enjoy good company. A kitchen should be beautiful to look at as well as welcoming and functional. The design of a kitchen layout should leave nothing to chance”.

With a natural, sinuous flow, the island is layered in different shades of HIMACS and contrasting metallic detail. The island top and upper sides are in Ispani, chosen for its even veining similar to that of natural stone. Peanut butter was chosen for the island base because of its similarity to the natural stone floor, sourced from Portugal. The base blends into the floor, emphasising the perfect surfaces of the island, which seems to float above the floor, suspended in space.

The sink, the hob and the secret spice rack, which can be raised from within the work surface, are all perfectly integrated into the worktop, with no visible seams.

The excellent thermoforming and seamless characteristics of HIMACS enabled Hegenbart to manufacture this complex and uniquely shaped island at their recently installed 5-axis CNC machining centre. For Felix Hegenbart, “HIMACS is a product unmatched by any other, offering creative freedom and the ability to construct innovative pieces”. The CNC machining tool also made it possible to produce the unusually complex-shaped plywood moulds used for the thermoforming and assembly of the island.

This kitchen is also remarkable for the top quality materials used throughout, materials which work together to perfection: the cupboard carcasses are in natural American walnut, the fronts, which were hand-made in the workshop, are in elm veneer and there are box-jointed drawers in solid walnut. The island and open niche work surfaces are in HIMACS, with details in a metallic finish. The recessed handles were designed to blend with the veining of the material.

As a backdrop, two complete walls are panelled in handmade elm veneer. They are in elegant contrast to the island, allowing it the centre-stage, while adding warmth to the whole. The kitchen includes two existing rounded arches which lead to the entrance hall and the dining room.

Finally, two open niches, lined in a burnished metallic finish, give an elegant depth to the kitchen. In the niche to the right, an openwork metal screen echoes the shape of the leaves of the olive trees surrounding the house, bring nature to the forefront of this amazing kitchen.

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