Marble & Granite Centre invites designers to see Lapitec worktops in £350,000 Poggenpohl kitchen

When you have a £350,000 kitchen, what better worktop to set your £12,000 blast chiller and £14,000 induction zone into than Lapitec, the new sintered worksurface.

That was the message from the Marble & Granite Centre, the stone wholesaler with exclusivity on Lapitec in the UK, when it invited leading architects and designers to view the Fourth Wall kitchen at Poggenpohl’s showroom in south-east London before Christmas.

Lucia van der Post, associate editor of the Financial Times How to Spend It magazine, wrote of the kitchen in the magazine that it gave her an “acute attack of kitchen lust”, making her want to throw out her own designer kitchen and replace it with the Fourth Wall.

She writes: “That’s what awesomely imaginative design can do – it makes everything else seem dowdy and forlorn…”

The Fourth Wall was designed by Andrew Hays, a former Australian junior tennis star and now a kitchen designer who has referenced his experience as a theatrical set designer for this latest creation. Its name comes from the theatre, where the imaginary fourth wall is what the audience watches the performance through.

In this kitchen, the fourth walls referred to are not quite so imaginary. They are tinted glass that hide areas such as the butler’s pantry and the larder and wine ‘cellar’ with their regulated atmospheres... hide them, that is, until the enclosed areas are lit from within, theatrically revealing the spaces behind the glass like a curtain lifting on a stage to reveal the set behind.

The kitchen is controlled from an iPad App and even includes a drawer especially for storing and charging your iPads and iPhones. A television is concealed behind a hidden panel in the wall when it is not on, so you do not have be offended by its blank, dark screen.

The Fourth Wall sees Poggenpohl kitchens combined with Electrolux Grand Cuisine appliances, which, apart from those already mentioned, include an £18,000 combination oven.

Lucia van der Post failed to note the hi-tech Lapitec worksurfaces made by Granite UK of Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, a Lapitec approved fabricator. But the material certainly played its part in the faultless finish. The 3.4m x 1.5m slab sizes Lapitec is supplied in made it possible to create the joint-free island that the appliances are fitted into to create the central cooking area. But then, Lucia also failed to note the wood and limestone on the floor or the Nero Marquina marble that supports a chemically fuelled open fire effect burner along one wall.

The Lapitec used in the Fourth Wall kitchen is the Ebano colour with a Vesuvio textured finish, rather than polished, to add warmth and to show that this is a place to relax and dine as well as to cook. The same colour and finish is used for the tops of a separate preparation area.

Lapitec makes an ideal work surface for kitchens because it is tolerant to extremes of high and low temperature, resistant to acid, alkali and the colour-altering effects of UV light, and is extremely hard and durable.

“When developing the Fourth Wall we wanted to bring together an eclectic mix of materials that could help create a luxurious, tactile finish,” says Simon Richmond, the Managing Director of Poggenpohl UK. “Every material was carefully considered and in each case chosen as the highest quality, design-led product that allowed us to fulfill the vision.”

Stephen Pike, the Managing Director of the Marble & Granite Centre, added: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Fourth Wall team and have been thrilled by the positive feedback that we’ve received about Lapitec.”