Stuart Barr
Barr Joinery
Barr Kitchens

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10th Apr 2018

Sub-Zero & Wolf, Frank Lloyd Wright and Nasa

Recently the BarrKitchens’ team were invited to a day exploring the latest appliances from Sub-Zero Wolf. Sub-Zero and Wolf have established themselves as the appliance brands of choice for leading chefs (and those passionate about food the world over) due to the robust, industrial feel of the high-quality stainless-steel appliances that offer delicious precision results every time. We went to find out more…

On arriving at the Knightsbridge showroom, we were immediately impressed with the new BBQ on show in their front window. Despite it being a cold and blistery ‘spring’ day, we were ready to be wowed. Heading downstairs past the hall of fame, with such brand ambassadors on show as James Martin, Gordon Ramsay, Michel Roux Junior, Stella McCartney, David (OBE) and Victoria Beckham, Sir Paul McCartney MBE, Lenny Kravitz, Sting CBE, Madonna and Rod Stewart CBE to name but a few.

Displayed were some fabulous retro posters dating back to the company’s illustrious past as an industry leader in North America. Originally dreamt up in the 1930’s by Westye Bakke a solution for a very real problem, his young son, Bud (now CEO) had juvenile diabetes. The lack of reliable and temperature-controlled home refrigeration meant frequent trips to the drugstore for insulin. Under those circumstances, getting snowed in by a Wisconsin blizzard could be more than just inconvenient. In his basement lab, Westye worked with urgency. By 1943, despite the materials shortages brought on by World War II, in classic entrepreneurial style. Westye had turned the basement of his Madison home into a product development lab and was planning to launch a new company. Working alone, he used scrap metal and other salvaged materials to fashion the prototype for a new kind of freezer, more reliable than any that had come before and able to store its contents at stable, exceptionally low temperatures – literally sub-zero.

This is where Frank Lloyd Wright comes in, a fellow Wisconsin native, Frank had heard of Westye’s aptitude for designing refrigeration systems and hired him as a consultant to help create uniquely sized refrigerators for the architect’s residential projects providing the early aesthetic inspiration for Westye not shying away from the bold industrial detail that continue to make Sub-Zero so iconic.

Sub-Zero & Wolf are still looking to innovate and hone their craft. In 2008 they introduced an antimicrobial air purification system based on NASA technology. The technology scrubs the air of ethylene gas (the gas given off by vegetables particularly notable in bananas) as well as mould, viruses, and bacteria.

If you are interested in discovering more about the appliances BarrKitchens can offer on behalf of sub-zero, or to organise a visit to their Knightsbridge showroom, please get in touch with the BK team.

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