Integrated kitchens, sustainable materials and technology transformed the space from being a purely practical one into one that can be utilised as entertainment and encourage well-being.
It has become evident that beauty within the architecture and design field is found in the way that the industry has evolved. Learning from the past and innovating for the future, residential design is unmatched when form, function and quality are equally considered. Whether advancing in the latest ergonomic or modular design or taking advantage of long-wearing and sustainable materials, designing within the home has wholly overturned.
A space that has been primarily affected by this is the kitchen. Demonstrating that this has altered to cater for changes in lifestyles and behaviours, specific materials and technologies have been utilised today to integrate ample storage for the kitchen, whether or not the residence boasts an open plan or has a smaller footprint. Open-plan spaces often require a seamless transition between living, cooking and dining areas – therefore, architects take into account the multitude of uses by applying and organising appliances in specific ways.
Standard utilitarian kitchens of the past made use of the working triangle, often fitted with stainless steel and white porcelain. Developed in the early twentieth century, the working triangle is a time-honoured principle. It is a theory that follows the arrangement around three significant spaces within a kitchen – storing, cooking and cleaning (refrigerator, stove and sink respectively). Although the approach represents ideal traffic flow within a kitchen; it was specially designed for scenarios when there is only one person in the kitchen.
Moving away from a working kitchen triangle – today's residences now celebrate freestanding or distributed kitchens that can spark confidence within the space. Today, cooking is a communal activity that families and friends enjoy together.
A distributed kitchen is one that architects seek to design as it is the ideal way for kitchens to be functional for the way people live and work today. Supporting contemporary patterns of use, architects consider the kitchen as an immersed space. Ensuring that residents interact with the overall area, kitchens are no longer relegated to the back of the home. It has become the centre of entertaining, and it is one of many reasons why it closely resembles a living or dining room. The adaptable nature of the new kitchen also sees the design of appliances to be more classic, timeless and minimalistic.
By aligning interior and architectural design concepts with a high degree of functionality, multiple brands have worked hard to ensure that kitchens look not only great but also feel great. Unobstructed by visual clutter, integrated and built-in kitchens can provide a sense of flawlessness with a design that is confident and smooth. Larger appliances are hidden from view, and slimmer products (such as fridges and ovens) provide a more holistic solution.
In saying that, statement ovens and fridges from various brands are popular today because the trend for concealing appliances and services is continuing to grow.
When integrated appliances are coupled with pioneered technology, performance and convenience enable each integration to bring more enjoyment to the act of cooking. For that reason, fixtures and appliances are thought of from a human-centred design perspective and seamlessly fit into people's lives and routines.
Apart from appliances, cabinetry has also changed. Considered with the same principles as custom-made furniture, kitchens often include integrated tables that can act as a gathering point – whether it is for family dining or for kids to do their homework. Although integrating the kitchen island and dining table is an architects' direct response to cater to smaller footprint living, it still ensures that the kitchen is the heart of the home. This is a testament to craftsmanship – where joinery is considered as a high-end sculptural insertion.
Additionally, sustainability within the kitchen is more profound than just creating an environmentally conscious space; it also considers the appliances that are chosen and the materials that are employed to fit out the area. Technology and material development have come a long way and now focuses on improved environmental quality.
Brands today, such as Fisher & Paykel, Zip, Snaidero, Saniflo, and Billi, have proved their understanding of the commitment to designing kitchen and cooking spaces.
Fisher & Paykel
Fisher & Paykel have a suite of appliances that can be distributed throughout the kitchen to support different functions. With a robust design philosophy that challenges conventional appliance design, the company has developed a variety of products that offer ultimate freedom tailored to human needs.
Specifically, products such as the CoolDrawer Multi-Temperature Drawer and DishDrawer ensure that appliances are considered as furniture. When intuitive technologies such as these are integrated into appliances, Fisher & Paykel assures that cooking will be more comfortable. Fisher & Paykel's Integrated Columns Refrigeration series that features Variable Temperature Zone technology gives consumers a new level of storage flexibility. The personalisation of temperature settings (between Chill, Fridge, and Pantry modes for the refrigerator or between Freezer, Soft-Freeze and Deep-Freeze options in the freezer) has been designed to provide optimal food care.
Moreover, Fisher & Paykel continues to meet the highest industry standards by aligning their designs and manufacturing process with Energy Star and WELS ratings. The combination of eco-friendly engineering and design innovation is core to all products, and consumers can select machines and appliances based on each unique interior need.
"With the move towards modern cabinetry and beautifully detailed tactile veneers that celebrate natural elements," according to Tom Fisher, Zip marketing director, "kitchens today must work hard at hiding the working areas and showcasing or integrating into social spaces." Understanding trends such as these, emphasise Zip's position, setting the standard for sustainable products and manufacturing that extends through the supply chain.
Drinking water systems have been on trend for a while, and Zip taps are seen in an array of premium kitchens around the world. This is because filtered water systems are now considered as essential as other appliances. Moreover, filtered water systems also eliminate the need for plastic water bottles, minimising environmental impact.
"We have recently completed in-home persona research and some of the interviews that I attended emphasised to me how kitchen designers and homeowners are thinking about their kitchen as an extension of their living area," Tom explains. These decisions affect choices of taps, handles and the selection of Zip HydroTap, which can contribute to the desired overall style. Tom concludes by stating, "We hear that while [Zip] HydroTap may have been a late inclusion in the kitchen renovation realm, it is now often the very first appliance that homeowners specify in the new kitchen project."
With a wealth of experience, Snaidero has been tailor-making kitchens for over seven decades. It has now become one of the leading kitchen brands in the world and recognises how physical and emotional landscape and lifestyles often guide trends within the kitchen. "As the heart of the home," the brand remarks, "kitchens are reflective of our way of living, consuming and appreciating."
The range of products and solutions that Snaidero offers is unmatched. With collections and materials that allows everybody to personalise a solution – from a Pininfarina (famously known for designing Ferrari's) limited edition kitchen to an affordable multi-residential offering – Snaidero is capable of accommodating a broad range of demands and desires. The company's in-depth research and development phases prove Snaidero's commitment to improving the quality of the kitchen space.
Embedded in the company's philosophy is its dedication to sustainable practices and processes. With the use of low emission panels, water-based lacquers, energy-efficient technologies and social and environmental certifications, Snaidero works to ensure that overall well-being in the home is achieved.
Saniflo is renowned in the industry for being the global leader in small bore grey water pumps, macerator pumps, and lifting stations. Saniflo pumping systems enables wastewater to be transferred into an existing line without major structural work. As plumbing relocation of the kitchen is not always feasible, Saniflo's greywater pumps directly provide an easy to install solution that ensures functionality is achieved in the least obtrusive way possible.
Having been involved with Daramu House by Lendlease (the second timber building in Barangaroo), Saniflo was specified when the kitchen needed to be relocated to meet the client's needs. Considering the sensitivity of the structure, builders were not able to transfer pump lines. Saniflo's Sanicom 2 served as the ideal system that provided an alternate solution to bring wastewater from the kitchen fixtures back to the mainline. Sanicom 2 is fitted with two powerful motors that provide continuity and reliability in one easy installation. It can handle up temperatures up to 90 degree Celsius (which is the same operating temperature of a commercial dishwasher) and pumps water up to 11 metres vertically and 110 metres horizontally.
As a brand that offers instant filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling water, Billi is an extremely healthy option for families. Removing sediments, chemicals, minerals, cysts and even led, Billi provides a space-saving solution for residences with under bench units. Additionally, the design impact of kitchen benchtops and islands is more advanced than ever. For this reason, architects and designers often choose to specify Billi in a place where everybody in the household can enjoy it.
The residential range from Billi is finished with the latest designs and trends. Whether an open plan or a compact space, Billi tapware sits standalone on the island bench, over a sink or even on a front installed off the sink, which drains. These designs allow Billi to cater for a kitchen that has been designed with integration in mind. Whether in a professional application or residential apartments, Billi has a reputation across the industry for being the world's first under-bench boiling and chilled filtered water system.
Fisher & Paykel: https://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/Suppliers/Fisher-Paykel-Appliances