Journal | Craftsmanship

Sculptural Engineering: Old King’s College Island

Sculptural Engineering: Old King’s College Island

The natural focal point of our award-winning kitchen design at Old Kings College is the sculptural island. It is made of two distinct components: a marble cube and a timber and brass workbench.

The cube has the appearance of a solid marble block that has been hollowed out with such precision that the stone has become translucent: at the edges the marble has been bevelled to 5mm. It had to be specially quarried in Northern Italy specifically for this project so that we could deliver on this design while matching the marble to the flooring, the wall cladding and the work surfaces.

The larger component of the central island is the timber and brass workbench, which references the workbench of a master craftsman or gardener in its layout. The useful tools and utensils are laid out in bespoke handcrafted pull-out trays suspended between brass legs – a nod to a craftsman’s shadow board. In this way, the design hints at nostalgia but remains uncompromising in its ambition as a paradigm of sculptural engineering.

In the middle of the timber bench is a trough with modular inserts which offer flexible uses. The herb planter is designed for trimmings from the outdoor herb garden to be collected and brought inside, while the wine bucket and trivet complete the set. They can be lifted out of the worktop to reveal a generous ice trough, ideal for serving seafood when entertaining.

Within the island, the marriage of marble and timber was a challenging one, since a tension exists in their juxtaposition driven by the diversity of their natural origins. They are united by materiality, attention to detail and quality of execution. This union helps to nest the whole kitchen in the eclectic interior filled with art and sculpture. The island therefore feels at one with the home: the masterpiece on display in the kitchen.


In Collaboration with Studio Vero. 

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