When Friedemir Poggenpohl set up a small furniture company in 1892 in Herford, Germany, he had a simple aim — to improve the kitchen. Just like that, Germany’s first specialist kitchen brand was born. Almost 130 years later, it is now the oldest kitchen brand in the world and has also become the most prestigious, with more than 450 showrooms across 80 countries.
At that time, the guise of the kitchen has undergone some transformation. Although it was once only a place to prepare meals, it has now become a central feature in the modern home — cooking hub, dining room, breakfast bar, remote office, and entertainment space all in one.
Poggenpohl has changed along with the times too, positioning itself at the heart of this transformation. The kitchen island was one of the company’s inventions, so too was the white lacquer finish — both popular features in today’s modern kitchen.
In urban Vietnam, as access to wealth grows, traditionally designed houses and apartments continue to make way for modern renditions, yet the family unit remains as valued as ever, it’s little surprise that the kitchen has risen to prominence at the heart of the home.
Vietnam’s first Poggenpohl kitchen
European Design Solutions (EUDS) began operations in Vietnam in 2017 and is the exclusive Poggenpohl supplier in the country. Their first sale was a high profile one, when musical artists Duong Khac Linh and Sara Luu became the first family in Vietnam to custom design and install a kitchen from the German brand.
When we spoke to Linh, he talked about finding a balance between a contemporary, stylish space and a welcoming family hub. “Growing up it was always a dream to have a nice, modern kitchen. My parents had a big kitchen that could fit the whole family of six. They loved to cook, and mealtimes were when we all came together.”
This is something the couple always imagined recreating for their own young family. “I think, in my family especially, the kitchen plays the most important role in the household. It’s where everyone gathers around during breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s where we meet and talk, and in fact spend most of our time.”
Though the kitchen space has become more multifunctional, people-centered and in the case of Poggenpohl, luxury-tinted, it’s still a workshop at its core, and has to stand the rigors of time and the style trends that come with it. Lasting quality is something that Linh’s family desired and has so far received. “It’s simultaneously modern and timeless, and after three years it still looks like new.”
Luxury in the details
Poggenpohl Vietnam CEO Frank Tielens maintains that luxury isn’t found in ostentatiousness, but in the finer aesthetic details of design and in its functionality. It’s all about finding an equilibrium between beauty and purpose to create a room that can be easily integrated into a home — a perfectly fitted puzzle piece.
An ergonomically-driven, built-to-order approach is one of the ways the brand achieves this. While the company’s ranges are distinctively on brand, their integration is rarely the same in any two homes. By considering a customer’s lifestyle, values, practical needs and personal taste first, the Poggenpohl team can answer questions about suitable features, storage space, appliance integration, even the ideal countertop height.
From there, it’s about the quality of manufacturing, all of which takes place at its Herford base, carried out by craftspeople who have been with the company for decades. Frictionless sliding drawers, surfaces hand finished with solvent free lacquer, robust joining techniques on sustainable wood, brushed stainless steel— the little details that render a space more liveable, more user-friendly and more lasting.
People-centered design and living
As the world we know continues to transform in the midst of a pandemic, families have been spending more and more time at home, bringing both the function and comfort of our living spaces under the spotlight once more.
Concepts like “People centered design”, “sustainable living” and “building from the inside out” are becoming hot button topics. Though these have largely been focused in the wider spectrum of urban development and regeneration, it stands to reason that they can also be applied to the more minute details of interior design.
As the kitchen takes its place at the heart of the modern home in Vietnam, Poggenpohl is in a strong position to bring sustainability, lasting quality, and livability to the space, with the family at the center.