Free-standing and vertically-oriented: it rises from its solid base to one of a few standard heights. This is what we know as the fridge. It may be retro, faced in stainless steel or (more recently) oiled bronze, or disguised by cabinetry – but it’s more or less the same. Though fridges have long been free-standing, they have never had the aesthetic value necessary for them to operate free-standing pieces. They have been designed as two-dimensional surfaces.
Bi-axis Fridge. Designed by GRO for Samsung.
The refrigerated drawer concept moved away from this mold, but was still necessarily integrated within kitchens and their cabinetry. Bi-axis is a concept refrigerator/freezer designed by Eindhoven-based GRO Design for Samsung. The three-dimensional piece is designed to be free-standing – and can be cleverly reconfigured too. It can be transformed from its traditional vertical orientation to a horizontal 'sideboard' – "giving a stronger reference to furniture than a large domestic appliance", according to GRO Design. Grooves on every interior surface allow for the shelves to be re-oriented depending on the configuration of the fridge (vertical or horizontal). The back of the refrigerator, ordinarily a mess of coils, is a smooth flat surface – capable of being exposed and revealed. GRO Design explains that "The division between cooking and living areas in modern homes is becoming increasingly blurred." The new concept fridge serves as a response to these changes in lifestyle and living.
This re-conceptualization of (or departure from) the standard fridge allows for new opportunities for its placement in homes. Configured as a horizontal sideboard - it seems ideal for a mixologist. The “counter space” created provides a surface for concocting drinks. The freezer side houses the hard liquor, the refrigerator side the juices, fruits and miscellaneous other necessities. Its modern aesthetics enable it to sit elegantly within a living space - a smaller, more convenient, and “lighter” domestic bar than the traditional dark wood/granite countertop/built-in mini fridge. Bachelors (and bachelorettes) who enjoy entertaining are likely to find success with this in their homes.
Regardless of how it’s used – because fortunately this can change – we’re happy to see this new, modern-day option for refrigeration. It's apparently an exciting time for appliances. The Bifoliate dishwasher by Electrolux (still a concept, and far less "defined since no one seems to know how it works) is similarly (attempting) to depart from the traditional mold for this appliance.