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Valcucine’s Artematica Vitrum glass kitchen is currently on display at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in Cellophane House, one of five on-site installations in the exhibition: Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling—on view July 20th through October 20th: http://www.momahomedelivery.org. Part 1 of the exhibit takes us through the history of prefabricated housing with pictures, film and models; Part 2, in an outdoor space to the west of the museum, shows prefabrication as a response to the urgent need for sustainability.

Cellophane House is a full-scale prototype house that radically reinvents the way buildings are made: an aluminum frame serves as a matrix on which fabricated floors, ceilings, stairs are attached by bolted connections. The house is an impermanent object to be disassembled—not demolished—at the end of its life. Valcucine’s Artematica Vitrum kitchen makes ecological sense in the context of KieranTimberlake’s Cellophane House. For more than a quarter century, Gabriele Centazzo (chemist, engineer and head designer of Valcucine) has been committed to environmental integrity. Centazzo says, “On the brink of the third millennium, practical and ethical reasons oblige us to make a U-turn, transforming the destructive economy of the industrial era into a system that restores health to our planet and improves the quality of our life.”

Valcucine’s Artematica Vitrum cabinetry— like Cellophane House—uses an aluminum structural frame for support. Gabriele Centazzo presented Artematica, its first “dematerialized” panel, in 1988. The cabinet fronts are less than ¼” thick tempered glass, the worktops ½” thick. Artematica’s aluminum frame reduces the amount of material used in the cabinet door by 85%, extending the life of hinges and joints, prolonging the life of the kitchen. Vitrum expresses Gabriele Centazzo’s passion for glass: made from an almost inexhaustible natural material (sand), glass is completely recyclable and sustainable, harder than steel, resistant to humidity and totally emission free. The Artematica Vitrum cabinet fronts in Cellophane House are white gloss, the countertop matte ebony glass. The entire kitchen is easy to dismantle, and labeled for recycling.

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