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Initial Kitchen Design

The kitchen in the house is very important.  It is where food is stored and prepared as well as all the implements necessary kept, these items do not just have a function but emotional value to the owners of the residence.  Which makes a kitchen, atleast in a home, more than a room with tools and food materials.  In my experience the kitchen will speak of a lot more than the food that’s prepared and consumed.

For the architect of a house the considerations of a kitchen are numerous.

We plan that the kitchen is properly located, usually utility access from the garage or utility areas are made together with the kitchen’s access from the interior spaces.  This access can be closed, done with a swinging door or covering wall, or open exposing an open kitchen that is meant to be viewed.  Its scale and area should relate well to the dining area served, and to the whole of plan, depending on its use.  Ofcourse the owner’s preferences are the primary concern.

Sometimes an interior designer or a kitchen specialist is also employed as the kitchen interior will house cabinets, partitions & spaces for not just food, but pottery, china, tools, cookery & equipment.  These are coordinated with the architect so that all stub outs and provisions are available and their locations coordinated well in advance so as to prevent unnecessary delay and interruptions during construction.

Among the many items on the architect’s plate are:

Structural provisions for support of cabinets, counters, and appliances that  are designed, detailed and coordinated with the wishes of the client and the contractor.

Plumbing provisions for cold water, hot water, drainage and waste disposal must be set up so that they are well hidden and do not take up any more space than required.  Since leaks are always a concern in the life of a building the provisions must all take the servicing of these plumbing fixtures into consideration.

A kitchen will require a number of mechanical units to function properly, provisions for gas for stoves, air intake for ventilation and comfort of the users, range and cook hoods to exhaust smoke from the work area, and perhaps airconditioning for improved comfort as the client requires.

A modern kitchen will require appliances that require electricity and grounding.  Microwave ovens, food processors, induction cook tops have joined the electric range, refrigerator, freezer, deep fryer, water heater, blender in the every growing list of power consuming machines that need be sized and their power provisions properly accommodated, so that the place will not require extensions or seem like a den of serpent power chords when fully operational.  Sometimes with the advent of the internet, provisions for ubiquitous wifi connected appliances will also be required.

All of these must come together in one design that will function and be aesthetically pleasing.

The following kitchen was designed for a client’s rest house, with specific needs.  It was fortunate that they had a clear idea as to what the kitchen needed to have, the activities within, the support areas and equipment, and even the over all look was tested and revisited multiple times as needed to prepare for the construction.

Kitchen floor plan and reflected ceiling

Kitchen cross sections

Kitchen longitudinal section

Kitchen longitudinal section

Aside from the main floor plans, the architect or designers will take care to detail the kitchen reflecting as many aspects of the design as possible.

Main kitchen in white finish

Main kitchen in wenge

When the drawings are done, subcontractors and suppliers are tapped to provide feed back if the design is feasible as well as to provide their own input regarding the available materials and cost.  Upon setting upon the counter and the cabinetry we revised the over all look of the kitchen from the original design intent and a final design of nearly all white was chosen.

View of main kitchen with newly erected walls

View of concrete countertop

Concrete counters have pros and cons.  But the qualities of strength and durability were foremost in the client’s mind, we had to compensate for the shallower drawers by making more of them. And we had to coordinate with the cabinet subcontractor as many prefabricated cabinet systems did not allow for concrete countertops.

Main kitchen ceiling installation

Installation of wiring, ducting and plumbing stub outs and provisions.

Many of the engineering systems earlier mentioned were reviewed one by one on site to make sure they were all provided in the spaces and in the proper orientations.

Finishing phase of the main kitchen

Installation of floor tiles & painting of all surfaces

Cabinet installation and ongoing plumbing layout.

The installation of the cabinets and finishing are done with care and considerations for all the stub outs prepared, whenever possible we go over the items to be installed, and the quality of the work, to prevent damage to the expensive materials and make sure all issues that crop out regarding installation of appliances are addressed.

Installation of kitchen counterop

Comments regarding the installation grease trap

The fit of the counter tops,  the fittings for plumbing are some of the items the construction team of the client review, as the fit out of the kitchen moves forward.

Handles and hardwares are installed on cabinets, and appliances are installed in their spaces.

Lights and appliances are tested, cabinets and drawers are all opened and closed to insure work is properly done.

Once everything is in place, all the items are tested.  The lights are opened and closed, the appliances are turned on and checked for any leaks or problems, all the drawers and cabinets are opened to check for quality and cleanliness. Last minute requests like installation of towel racks, pot holders hooks are addressed.

The kitchen begins its life.

When all is ready, the client then moves in and activates the kitchen which by now provides the throbbing heart of the home, where food is prepared and life is savored.

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