Wei Yi Design
16 HOME | kitchens
Kitchen design is a tricky business. It’s certainly very technical; some even say scientific. To create an efficient, ergonomic workspace, a precise formula was developed to create the perfect kitchen every time, no matter the space or budget.
Da Jiu Interior
WORDS MAJKA KAISER / PHOTOGRAPHY HEY! CHEESE
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In the 1940s, The University of Illinois School of Architecture developed what interior designers and architects still refer to today as the “work triangle” model. Based on the time/motion studies from the turn of the century, efficiency between the key work areas within the kitchen - cooking (stove top), food preparation (sink/dishwasher and countertop) and food storage (refrigerator) - were calculated in order to reduce costs by standardising construction. Various rules applied, such as no less than 1.2 metres and no more than 2.7m between any one leg, no obstacles, such as
entities solely dedicated to food preparation, which now merge into open plan dining and living areas. The rise in wealth with the Baby Boomer generation has brought an increase in size and have been adapted to accommodate more than one chef, often resembling the layout and zoning used in commercial kitchens. With the rise in technology, appliances have required adaptations on the original work triangle, which often results in secondary triangles formed to include additional zones for baking, food preparation and even a separate bar area with additional sinks and fridges.
Although many things have changed since this “work triangle” model was conceived over 70 years ago, the basic principles still apply. cabinets should intersect any leg of the triangle by more than 30 centimetres, and sinks should have at least 60cm of clear counter space on one side and at least 45cm on the other. Although many things have changed since this “work triangle” model was conceived over 70 years ago, the basic principles still apply. Kitchens may be bigger today than those of our Depression Era parents, whose kitchens were separate
Of course with single wall kitchens, where the kitchen runs along just one wall, this principle is geometrically impossible. However, efficiency can still be achieved by configuring these three key work areas in close proximity to one another. Whatever your needs, budget, or footprint, clever design which follows the basic “work triangle” will always produce a functional space that is guaranteed to be a pleasure to work in.