Smeg's new hob is a different kind of turn on for the dedicated design-focused chef

Taking the architect’s legendarily high-tech approach, the hob fused space-age forms with high-powered function

Smeg x Renzo Piano ‘Piano’ hob
(Image credit: Smeg)

Back in 1995, the Italian architect Renzo Piano branched out into product design with a new hob for Smeg. The Italian appliances manufacturer had always pitched its products to the upper end of the market, and the ‘Piano’ (available in four and five-burner sizes) was no exception. 

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Smeg x Renzo Piano ‘Piano’ hob

(Image credit: Smeg)

A free-standing sculptural object that would suit the then-burgeoning trend for kitchen island units, the Piano hob became a cult object for the kitchen, akin to Philippe Starck’s famous ‘Juicy Salif’ lemon squeezer. 

Unlike that spindly aluminium sideboard ornament, the Smeg technology ensured the ‘Piano’ cooked as good as it looked.

Smeg x Renzo Piano ‘Piano’ hob

(Image credit: Smeg)

The company is launching a limited-edition of 1,000 Piano hobs as a way of celebrating its archive of delectable domestic designs (as well as a marking decade since Piano’s most visible UK structure, the Shard, was completed). 

Piano was one of the great pioneers of transferring technology from industry to the arts, creating buildings that transformed the raw components of factory structure into elegant contemporary statements. 

The ‘Piano’ hob is made entirely of polished stainless steel. A special plasma-coating process is applied to the surface to stop it from tarnishing.

Smeg x Renzo Piano ‘Piano’ hob

(Image credit: Smeg)

As one would expect from an object shaped by an architect, no detail is left unturned - the burner pan stand is created without any welds, for example. Renzo Piano is still working at the age of 84, with recent works including the new San Giorgio Bridge in his home town of Genoa, built in just 420 days to replace the motorway structure that collapsed in 2018, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

Smeg x Renzo Piano ‘Piano’ hob

(Image credit: Smeg)

Smeg x Renzo Piano ‘Piano’ hob, from £549, available from Smeg, 14 Regent Street, London or online at www.shop.smeguk.com (opens in new tab)

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This article is part of The T3 Edit, a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next. 

Jonathan Bell
Transport and Technology Editor, Wallpaper*

Jonathan Bell is Wallpaper* magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor, a role that encompasses everything from product design to automobiles, architecture, superyachts, and gadgets. He has also written a number of books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. His interests include art, music, and all forms of ephemera. He lives in South London with his family.