Kitchen Design Week

Italian kitchen brand Arclinea’s new Thea concept points kitchen architecture in an innovative new direction while still allowing harmonious integration with its existing systems.

The Thea kitchen develops the idea of dividing kitchens into ‘wet’ areas, where the messiest food preparation work is done, and ‘show’ areas, where dishes are finished off and the meal can be served

Two kitchens are better than one: Arclinea | News

The Thea kitchen develops the idea of dividing kitchens into ‘wet’ areas, where the messiest food preparation work is done, and ‘show’ areas, where dishes are finished off and the meal can be served

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Earlier this month, in a Milan design week distinguished by its predominantly local audience and quieter than usual creative quarters, Arclinea launched its new boundary-bending concept for kitchens in its Via Durini flagship showroom. The usual fanfare that surrounds newness in kitchen design may have been minimised by masks, but Arclinea’s ambition was far from subdued.

A feat of thoughtful design and cutting-edge new technology, the Thea kitchen is part innovation, part new genre-defining layout and part seamless integration of old and new. The whole is made possible by a €4 million investment in the machinery and software of Arclinea’s manufacturing systems, which has created new possibilities of production and, in turn, new flexibility for the planning and design of kitchens. Thea, in fact, represents a shift in kitchen architecture.

Thea designer, Antonio Citterio, has paid attention to the integration of the Show Kitchen into living areas by prioritising high-quality materials and minimising fuss with the handle-free unit design

Two kitchens are better than one: Arclinea | News

Thea designer, Antonio Citterio, has paid attention to the integration of the Show Kitchen into living areas by prioritising high-quality materials and minimising fuss with the handle-free unit design

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The concept integrates into the Arclinea Collection, a body of compatible products and systems established in 2000, that are linked by a common architectonic matrix. Delivered by the Arclinea Collection’s sole designer and Art Director, Antonio Citterio, Thea pursues a layout established in kitchens across the Far East.


A feat of thoughtful design and cutting-edge new technology, the Thea kitchen is part innovation, part new genre-defining layout and part seamless integration of old and new


It sees the space divided into a ‘wet’ area, the place where the messiest, greasiest food preparation takes place, and therefore the place most in need of regular sluicing, and a ‘dry’ area, where the final, cleaner stages of prep take place, and where the culinary creations might be eaten. For Arclinea, these areas are distinguished as the ‘Wet Kitchen’ and the ‘Show Kitchen’, with the latter favouring social space and an emphasis on the integration of the kitchen into living areas. The two zones are separated by a wall of floor-to-ceiling wood-faced cabinets.

In the video (top), architect Antonio Citterio presents Thea. The clean, architectural finish is achieved thanks to the new Gola Profile developed by Citterio. The continuous handles appear simply as a dark groove, but operate smoothly to open the units

Two kitchens are better than one: Arclinea | News

In the video (top), architect Antonio Citterio presents Thea. The clean, architectural finish is achieved thanks to the new Gola Profile developed by Citterio. The continuous handles appear simply as a dark groove, but operate smoothly to open the units

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Thea’s more technical innovation is the development of a new Gola Profile, the handleless opening systems built into kitchen cabinetry to eliminate interruptions to spankingly clean lines. Thea’s continuous Gola Profile works horizontally, to open cupboards and drawers below the countertop, and also vertically, in the tall cabinetry used as partitions between the zones.


‘Like all Arclinea products, Thea is part of a system, the Arclinea Collection, where each component, even from different models, can be used with the others.’ And there is nothing more commendable in sustainability terms than economy of design


The backward slant of the anodised aluminium in the gap between countertop and door (or simply between doors in the vertical version) is clean and sculptural, further enhancing the minimal, graphic nature of the design. Adaptability comes with the kitchen’s height variables (78 and 84cm for the base units, 8, 10 and 12cm for the plinths and 2.4 and 6cm for the worktops). Thea also introduces a new carcass, one that adds new functionality to the structure of the units. It allows them to be disassembled so that the back panel can be removed temporarily for access to the wall, pipes and wiring when necessary.

The Gola Profile works horizontally for under-the-counter units, and vertically for the tall cabinets that are used to divide up the wet and show zones of the kitchen

Two kitchens are better than one: Arclinea | News

The Gola Profile works horizontally for under-the-counter units, and vertically for the tall cabinets that are used to divide up the wet and show zones of the kitchen

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Another important aspect of Thea, is its integration with elements from past collections, integration that is in fact necessary for the concept to be completed. ‘One of these is Frame, a system of doors that links the Wet and Show areas, built into the accessorised wall with the vertical Gola Profile, as is the very thin Waterfall worktop with its detailed corners and Canto, the snack bar with its tapered edge on the three internal sides,’ explains Citterio. ‘Like all Arclinea products, Thea is part of a system, the Arclinea Collection, where each component, even from different models, can be used with the others.’ And there is nothing more commendable in sustainability terms than economy of design.

Thea enters the Arclinea Collection, a range of compatible kitchen modules in development since 2000. The new catalogue explores how it integrates with existing pieces and also into the wider interior

Two kitchens are better than one: Arclinea | News

Thea enters the Arclinea Collection, a range of compatible kitchen modules in development since 2000. The new catalogue explores how it integrates with existing pieces and also into the wider interior

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As new as the concept is, the name Thea isn’t new. Summoning the enduring values of flexibility, modularity and integrated design that Arclinea has subscribed to throughout its 62-year history, the new concept is named after the company’s very first kitchen design. Underscoring this heritage and its continued importance today is the new advanced mechanisation and digitalisation of the manufacturing process, secured with the recent investment.

‘Arclinea is putting in place an unprecedented process of modernisation,’ says Board Member, Gianni Fortuna. ‘This brings remarkable advantages: shorter production times, higher quality standards and greater flexibility. The latter in particular is a fundamental condition given the growing market demand for customisation’. Thea offers generous scope for consumers to embrace the new multi-zone kitchen, while putting their own stamp on its design.

© Architonic

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