Bates Masi Architects

Our jury awarded this laser-cut steel wall with a floating cooktop a Detail Award because they felt this “composed and highly detailed kitchen adds drama to the whole house." That was the intent of architect Paul Masi, who says the kitchen was designed to appear as an object within the stunning scenery beyond the house’s transparent walls. White Corian provides contrast to the dark metal and the counter cantilevers out from the wall to let the folds in the steel read continuously from floor to ceiling. 

The wall, however, is not all about looks. The prefabricated panels form a standard structural shear wall commonly used for construction in hurricane-prone areas that experience high winds. “For our case the panels were to be exposed,” Masi says. He further explains that a 4x8 light gauge steel sheet was folded back and forth along the long axis to increase the metal’s strength and rigidity. “The resulting 2-foot panel locks into adjacent panels,” Masi adds, “and is a structural shear and bearing assembly, as well as a decorative furniture component.”