Cutting from an article on Norman Potter’s Penton Kitchen

c. 1961, 18 x 19 cm
The kitchen was commissioned by architect Richard Penton for his Victorian house in Islington, north London. It was installed as a room-within-a-room, imposing its modernism in the midst of decorative cornicing and a Georgian-style fireplace complete with fluting, ionic capitals and a frieze. The Observer article describes it as “a new kind of kitchen landscape.” [...]

My preconception of the kitchen is instantly undermined. Despite years of anticipation, I have arrived in the presence of this artifact without appreciating an elementary reality of it. The Penton kitchen is *highly colored.* [...]

The wood itself is various. The dominant material is not the presumptive blond ply but a rich mahogany. This makes the volumes visually heavier than the photographs suggest. There are small panels color-coding various electrical switches with yellow and black formica. And the blue. Several large cupboards and one smaller are faced in the primary blue formica, still clean and bright. Looking for explanation, I see the resemblance to the blue trim of the water heater. They are closely matched, but it hardly seems significant. Maybe Potter arrived at the blue in relation to some aspect of the interior in Islington. Or it might have been chosen for purely metaphysical reasons. It is probably unknowable now. 

– “Now in Color,” James Langdon, Bulletins of The Serving Library #11, 2016

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