Kitchens / bulthaup / History
The story begins in a field in the middle of nowhere a long time ago...
Martin Bulthaup founded the company in 1949 and his vision was that design should be a comprehensive process involving form, material and processing. Unnecessary decoration of any kind was - and still is - eschewed. The company laid the foundations for its innovative leadership back in the early Seventies, with the launch of the C12 kitchen program. This use of shape, unusually modern for its time, coupled with its smart installation concept, made bulthaup’s name as a pioneer for the industry.
Gerd Bulthaup took over as head of the company in 1978, following his father's death. His vision of expanding bulthaup to become the market leader in design-orientated kitchens brought him into contact with the designer Otl Aicher. He was co-founder of the Ulm school, which reflects the tradition of the Weimar Bauhaus movement.
In his book entitled "The Kitchen for Cooking", published in 1982, Otl Aicher described a new kitchen philosophy, based on a survey carried out for bulthaup, in which ergonomic working was the most important factor. The design aimed to achieve this through function and material and regarded reduction to the essentials as its goal.
Next came the practical butcher block, a sturdy worktable made from solid wood that was placed in the centre of the room, which became a bulthaup trademark.
In 1988 there came a milestone in kitchen design: the kitchen workbench, which was considered the first true innovation since the famous Frankfurt kitchen of the Twenties, which was the forerunner of the modern fitted kitchen.
bulthaup set new standards in 1992 with the launch of system 25, which combined modernity, functionality and variability and made the name bulthaup synonymous with the most advanced idea of architecture in the kitchen living space - a space in which people eat, drink and talk together. This led to bulthaup naming its furniture range “communication”.
Two systems of seating, korpus and duktus, were unveiled in 1994 and in 1997 bulthaup was honoured with both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the European Design Prize from the European Commission for the company’s service to the industry.
At the turn of the century, bulthaup’s "architecture of the kitchen" established a product range on the market that built on the foundations of system 25. It offered customers the ability to create unique living spaces using sculpturally and functionally designed kitchen furniture that was pared down to the essentials and yet radiated an appealing warmth.
In 2004, the company expanded its role as market leader further with the introduction of its new product generation, bulthaup b3. Now it was possible not just to create a kitchen based on the floor plan, but more importantly to bring the walls to life.
A multi-functional wall is the fulcrum of bulthaup b3, the static base element, the stable skeleton supporting the entire kitchen system. Units, worktops, cooking and water points, electrical appliances and accessories hang from it. The kitchen's spacious effect is given a sculpted quality as a result.
The floating appearance is enhanced by the lightness and clarity of the construction. The material thicknesses are as thin as possible and as strong as necessary. bulthaup b3 is a design concept for the entire house.