Rene Corredor: The signature is in the details
René Corredor is the architect that received the third place at the first I&D Contest. The outstanding Colombian professional captures the current vibe of green architecture into his designs and believes that, in terms of kitchen design, appliances are as important as the materials used.
Happy and grateful for the award received from the I&D Contest, Corredor says that this initiative, as well as the LCI’s web blog, are an interesting contribution to the work of designers and architects. “They are certainly creating a significant link between us, the clients and the companies. I even share the articles on your blog with my clients, so they can have an idea about the trends and get to know more details about the appliances. That way, they get excited about it and my job is easier.”
An efficient project
René Corredor participated in the first I&D Contest with a kitchen design that is part of an ambitious project that is under development in the neighborhood of Santa Ana Oriental, one of the most exclusive areas of Bogota, characterized by specific urban planning standards for the construction of single-family homes. Corredor indicates that he worked on the theme of sustainability for the project in terms of water warming up and management through the incorporation of photovoltaic energy to improve efficiency and heat up the environment.
“Due to the fact that we made a bioclimatic study, we were able to use a French program especially aimed at energy optimization. That allowed us to build a 9-levels building with plenty of awareness for sustainability, design, and adaptation to the mountain” he explained.
A kitchen with a view
Corredor tells us that the kitchen that won the third place in the first I&D Contest belongs to the Solarte family and was a project developed with the participation of the client. “The kitchen presented a challenge: This Project only has 3 vertical facades and the fourth one faced the mountain, which translated into a difficulty to provide lighting and ventilation.”
For that reason, René Corredor decided to work with a project in panels that not only allowed the kitchen to have natural light but also to enjoy the wonderful view from the home. “Everything points towards the north of Bogota, which is a luxury landscape, and if you add good weather to the formula, then, you can even see the snow-covered peaks (Ruíz, Tolima, Santa Isabel). So, the idea was not to sacrifice such view from the kitchen, especially since nowadays this is a very important social area in any home. We worked the connection with the living room, dining room, and kitchen with panels (which hide between the walls), allowing at some point, to keep one area independent from the others, offering the family the possibility to adapt to each situation or event they may face.”
Once the illumination problem was solved, the following subject was ventilation. “We worked that issue out with skylights 3 levels above, which open automatically from the kitchen, generating upper driven air circulation thus, creating an important negative suction that keeps the typical vapors of a kitchen from disturbing visitors.”
In the project presented by Corredor for the first I&D Contest, the judges loved the fact that it has a multifunctional central island to prepare food, share with others and eat at the same time. “Even though everything is designed with a minimalist concept in mind, we wanted everything lo kook harmonious. For that reason, we chose a refrigerator from Liebherr, since it can be easily built-in, so we could achieve what the client wanted. The contrast in this kitchen is found in the panels on the back and in the floor in Colombian granite -in a mocha coffee color- antique in the oven and large stones.”
The kitchen: The queen of the home
René Corredor states that current architectural trends are present in his designs. “That way, the ideas presented seem especially attractive for the clients we work with.”
-In your opinion, what’s the importance of the kitchen in the design of a home?
-It amounts to 40% of the design. Kitchens are precisely the element of a project that makes clients fall in love. Within them, appliances are more than assisting tools or devices, they are a vital part of the design of a space that has become the most social space of the home.
Getting further into that subject, Corredor states that for the owners of the kitchen presented for the I&D Contest, his knowledge in the use and advantages of induction cooktops erased a concern of the client: The fact that his children could be careless with gas. “Knowing how each appliance works, as well as its advantages and disadvantages, gives you the opportunity to guide clients to make their selection based on their needs; and that constitutes a comprehensive consulting service. I particularly recommend self-cleaning appliances since they adjust perfectly to the needs of a modern life. Obviously, this type of appliances, where technology is on our side, helping you cook your food properly and preserving its freshness for longer periods, have a higher price, but the price/value rate exceeds that factor with all the benefits they offer.”
As a lover of versatility in terms of sizes, colors, and shapes, along with the technological level of the brand Smeg, Corredor says that in his kitchen designs he gives a 40% of weight in importance to the quality of the elements that conform such design (materials, appliances, etc.), 50% to the design and 10% to the combination he achieves based on the client’s requirements. “Today, appliances are essential in any kitchen. You can have a good design with poor appliances and the kitchen will lose its allure as a result.”
When asked if he includes a distinctive element, a personal signature, in his designs this renowned Colombian architect acknowledges that his creations have his signature element. “Design is infinite but the concept of how a kitchen works is quite simple and must be followed, that is where you place certain details that become your signature. The themes of my kitchens are panels (used to provide versatility in the area) and upper ventilation, both are part of my signature elements. Then, in the development of the design of the kitchen per se, my signature would be the illumination. I normally illuminate the backsplash because that allows you to see clearly what you are doing, which is important, especially to those who believe that cooking is a work of art.”