The French Laundry Gets a New Kitchen

The French Laundry Gets a New Kitchen→

So cool.

While Snøhetta actually had no previous experience designing Michelin-rated kitchens, Thomas Keller tapped the firm for the job because of its urban design work in Times Square, where pedestrians, bikers, and drivers intersect in one surprisingly lovely space. “He wondered if we could bring that [crowd control] into kitchen,” explains Snøhetta Partner Craig Dykers. “Kitchens are crowded and can be intense, but they need to stay crowded, because the intimacy is important to the work. It’s counterintuitive, but the more space you create, the less positive and creative a kitchen is.”

So the firm’s designers embedded themselves in French Laundry’s kitchen, studying cooking workflows and diagramming what Dykers calls “the choreography of the kitchen.” From this observational study, they generated a few small but important interventions…