By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Thermador has developed a collection of modular built-in refrigerators that will allow consumers, designers and builders to further customize kitchens by placing separate refrigerator and freezer compartments in multiple locations.
The platform, dubbed Freedom Collection, essentially splits the traditional side-by-side unit into food and freezer columns that can be installed in multiple locations based on convenience and aesthetics, as opposed to designing the kitchen around a single refrigerator/freezer.
The initial grouping includes 24-inch and 30-inch refrigerator columns; three freezer columns in 18-inch, 24-inch and 30-inch widths; and a 36-inch, three-door bottom mount freezer. The units will be available in stainless steel or with panel-ready finishes that can be customized to match surrounding cabinetry.
Franz Bosshard, president/CEO of Thermador parent BSH Home Appliances, described Freedom Collection as an industry breakthrough on par with the company's introduction of the built-in wall oven in the 1950s. “Since the columns act independently of one another, the collection allows you to place separate and multiple fresh food and freezer columns just about anywhere in the kitchen. This results in maximum convenience, flexibility and performance,” he said.
Other features include:
An interior hinge that allows the columns to be fully flush-mounted to cabinetry and extends door range to 115 degrees;
A free flow air system that runs through the column door, keeping interior temperatures consistent to within 1.5 degrees;
A motorized glass shelf that can be raised and lowered with the push of a button;
A system that regularly agitates ice cubes to prevent clumping.
The Freedom Collection is scheduled to hit stores on July 4, 2006, to tie in with the country's own celebration of freedom, and will carry a price point range of $2,699 to $6,699. A separate wine column will follow in December.
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