Smeg Tour Competition 2023 | Honouring Excellence in Kitchen Design
The Smeg Tour competition recognises exceptional architectural kitchen design and offers four Australian architects and designers the chance to travel to Italy to join their exclusive culinary and cultural tour of Northern Italy and attend the renowned Venice Architecture Biennale.
As an established brand known for its union of form and function alongside innovation, Smeg’s announcement of its upcoming Smeg Tour Competition is one to mark on the professional design calendar.
With entries open for the acclaimed 2023 Smeg Tour Competition, we revisit one of the 2020 winners; DKO Architecture’s multi-residential Elm & Stone project. “Kitchens are the heart of the home,” DKO senior associate Simone Tyson says. “A space where daily activities and rituals revolve around so, from a design point of view, the aesthetics of a kitchen are just as important as high functionality.” Every two years, to coincide with the Venice Architecture Biennale, an esteemed jury selects kitchens that demonstrate a contribution to architectural design and the inclusion of state-of-the-art Smeg appliances.
Entries for the 2023 Smeg Tour Competition close on 31 December 2022.
The Italian legacy of the Smeg brand began with their 70-plus-year heritage in premium cooking appliances and continues to this day through their ongoing passion for innovation, devotion to getting the most out of food and ingredients and enhancing our overall cooking experience in the home.
Founded by the Bertazzoni family in 1948 and now run by third-generation family member Vittorio Bertazzoni, Smeg continues to design and manufacture its products in the town of Guastalla in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. Located halfway between Venice and Milan in Northern Italy, Emilia-Romagna is a region deeply rooted in design, art, architecture, fashion and culture. Unsurprisingly this region has since attracted global acclaim in the manufacturing industry, with Smeg leading the way alongside other inventive and prestigious designers such as Ferrari, Ducati, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani.
The Smeg brand was hand-picked by DKO Architecture for the target market of young professionals with design and ease of use highly desirable. Smeg’s Classic gas cooktopepitomised this aesthetic with timeless Guido Canali-designed control knobs and quality cast iron trivets complementing all three schemes within the Elm & Stone project.
In a quest to deliver new technologies synonymous with the style and high quality associated with being ‘Made in Italy’ Smeg believes that their design-discerning customers should be able to express their individuality through their appliances, and much like art, they should be selected based on personal aesthetic. This philosophy contributes to Smeg’s long history of collaborations with world-leading architects and designers, creating ever-evolving collections to suit different styles and tastes.
As a celebration of world-class design in the kitchen, the Smeg Tour Competition aims to recognise the very best in kitchen design and the chance for design professionals to experience Smeg’s Northern Italian pedigree – where its architecture, history, culture, food and wine come to the fore.
Open to professional architects and interior designers, the 2023 Smeg Tour Competition requires participants to enter a built kitchen project featuring Smeg appliances and completed between 1st January 2020 to the closing date of the competition, 31st December 2022. Four winners will be selected to attend the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 and join the coveted Smeg Tour. Beginning at the prestigious Vernissage opening of the Venice Architecture Biennale in May 2023, the tour journeys to the cultural and culinary delights of the Emilia-Romagna region, allowing designers to experience firsthand the unique cuisine, technological innovation, world-renowned architecture and Smeg’s synonymous Italian craftsmanship.
While DKO Architecture’s multi-residential project Elm & Stone highlights diverse spatial planning in each apartment, the design team applied a cohesive material palette and Smeg’s state-of-the-art appliances across the project.
The entries will be judged by a distinguished panel comprising leading architects and industry influencers. “As a company with a strong heritage in architectural design, the Smeg Tour Competition is a celebration of the best Australian talent showcasing high-quality design incorporating Smeg appliances,” Smeg Australia’s Head of Marketing Livia McRobert says. “Along with our supportive and illustrious alumni, we can’t wait to see the next round of entries, due by 31 December this year.” Previous shortlisted practices have included SJB, Kenney Nolan, Owen Architecture, Cheah Saw Architecture, Panov-Scott, MAKE Architecture and Sam Crawford Architects.
One standout shortlisted entry included DKO Architecture’s Elm & Stone project which demonstrated that a highly functional kitchen is essential at the heart of even the most compact homes. The diverse kitchen spaces within this multi-residential project were crafted using a refined material palette, sleek detailing and timeless Smeg Classic appliances. Every kitchen layout was cleverly constructed, yet simple, and fit comfortably within the unique loft-style living arrangement. “We wanted the kitchens to retain the warehouse aesthetic while ensuring a warm, homely feeling throughout,” DKO Architecture senior associate Simone Tyson says. Referencing New York City as their muse, the design team at DKO Architecture explored new living typologies, including mezzanine-level accommodation and split-level terrace-style apartments. “The kitchen has to be at the forefront of functionality – it’s the space that brings the household together and is usually the centrepiece of the design. It has to be a space that makes people comfortable to gather, cook, work and eat,” Simone says.
“A timeless kitchen shies away from fast trends. By researching well-lasting finishes and fixtures we can ensure the kitchen space looks good, and functions well, not just on day one, but for many years to come.“