The kitchen is not a specialized workroom, for it has many uses. It is used for preparation of meals, food preservation, storage of food and utensils, and also, in many cases, for eating, laundering, entertaining, and childcare.
In it a woman uses her own labor and also makes full use of electric power, tap water, and manufactured or bottled gas; she uses refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, mixers, toasters, and garbage-disposal units, as well as various kinds of storage compartments and work surfaces.
Since more time and effort are frequently spent in the kitchen than in any other area of the house, careful planning is especially important. This requires careful selection of appliances and storage units and convenient arrangement of the area.
Three main areas were determined as a result: the place for preparation, place for cooking and washing.
Accordingly, three centers of activity were determined: a cutting table, a sink and a stove which were named “kitchen triangle”.
General planning guides for kitchen
Kitchens should face north-east or north-west and be adjacent to any vegetable/herb garden and cellar. Ideally the kitchen should look out on the garden gate, house door, children’s play area and the patio as shown in the figure below.
They should be well located internally with respect to the pantry, dining room and utility room.
1) Food preparation
- It is important to keep the basic work area compact, even if the kitchen is of the large “living” type. Consideration should be given, however, to the possibility of more than one person working there.
- The arrangement will vary according to the size and shape of space available, but we should always keep in mind relationships among functions in different areas of the kitchen.
- Traffic lanes Traffic lanes through work areas should be avoided. Arrange the service entrance and access to the basement so that traffic not essential to food preparation, service, or storage can by-pass the area.
ii) Traffic lanes
- Traffic lanes through work areas should be avoided.
- Arrange the service entrance and access to the basement so that traffic not essential to food preparation, service, or storage can by-pass the area.
- Kitchen design should be functional in the sense of minimizing reaching and stooping.
- Storage facilities should be no higher than a woman can reach with both feet flat on the floor. There should be sufficient space to store items so that they may be easily seen, reached, grasped, and taken down and put back without excessive strain. With proper planning, stored items can be located close to where they are first used, and unattractive items can be kept out of sight.
- Storage space should be sufficiently flexible to permit its adjustment to varying amounts, sizes, and kinds of food, supplies, and utensils. Shelving should be adjustable.
iv) Counters and working surfaces
- The height of counters and working surfaces should permit a comfortable working posture. The worker should be able to sit, if she wishes, while doing certain kitchen tasks, such as working at the sink. Continuous lines and surfaces permit ease of movement and are easier to keep clean.
v) Servicing and replacement of appliances
- Consideration should be given to ease of servicing and replacement of major appliances, especially built-in units.
- Materials and finishes that minimize maintenance and cleaning should be used, and they should be sufficiently light in color to create a pleasant work atmosphere.
- Good lighting helps to prevent fatigue, as well as promoting safety and a pleasant atmosphere. Comfortable levels of light, with a minimum of shadows, should be planned throughout the kitchen. Adequate daylight or artificial lighting makes the room more agreeable and attractive than a dark or poorly lighted room.
- The kitchen should be well ventilated, with an exhaust fan to remove objectionable kitchen odors.
- Burns, scalds, falls, and explosions should be “designed out” of the kitchen. Sharp corners, exposed handles, and control knobs on kitchen equipment should be avoided, and there should be safety catches on doors and drawers to limit the exploratory activities of young children.
- There should be easy access to front and back doors, laundry area, telephone, and bathroom.
- Color, texture, and decoration should be used to create an atmosphere that is attractive, cheerful, and restful.
2) Other kitchen activities
i) Nonworking areas
- Nonworking areas should be segregated from working areas. Avoid interruption of work areas by breakfast nooks, general storage closets, rest areas, and other areas not essential to normal food preparation activities.
ii) Eating facilities
- Most families want to eat some meals in the kitchen. Provision should be made for this, if possible, even if a separate dining room is also provided.
iii) Child’s play
- In younger families, especially, there is likely to be one or more children who want to be near their mother. Provision should be made for a play area out from underfoot, but where adequate supervision is possible. Storage space should be provided for toys and games.
iv) Infant care
- It is a well-known fact that many kitchens are used for care of infants. If provision is not made in the bathroom for infant care and related supplies, then it should be made in the kitchen.
- Washing hands and some personal grooming frequently take place in the kitchen, especially if there is not ready access to the bathroom. A mirror is desirable.
3) Critical dimensions for kitchen design
The “critical dimensions” for working space are illustrated in Figures.
Basic work areas
- The work center concept, favorably supported by a great deal of research data from many sources, emphasizes the planning of the kitchen in terms of its major centers of activity.
- These work centers, in turn, are planned in terms of their constituent parts, their proper functions, and their ideal relationships, one to another.
- The actual design of the work centers will vary with the size and shape of space available in each project.
- Four work centers must be considered: sink, range, mix, and serve. In addition, there is the refrigerator (which functions as a closely related storage center) and the oven, if it is not an integral part of the range.
Each work center should have three components:
- Adequate storage space for the various items used there.
- Adequate counter space for the work to be accomplished; and
- Necessary utilities and facilities, such as water at the sink, heat at the range, outlet and space for the mixer at the mix center, and adequate lighting at each center. Equip each work center for the storage of utensils, supplies, and dishes according to their frequency and order of use.
5) Kitchen arrangement
The relative location of work centers should permit a continuity of kitchen activities as follows:
- Storage (gathering materials needed for the performance of the task).
- Cleaning and mixing (or initial preparation).
- Serving, or storing for future use; and
- Cleaning up. (See Figure below)
An appropriate arrangement to ease work in the kitchen would be, from right to left storage surface, cooker, preparation area, sink, draining surface as shown in the figure below.
The actual plan may be U-shaped or L-shaped, or it may be of the corridor type.
- The “U” arrangement affords the most compact work area.
- The “L” arrangement is ideally suited where space along two walls is sufficient to accommodate all of the necessary work areas. This arrangement has the advantage of concentrating the work area in one corner, thus minimizing travel
- The “Corridor” arrangement is satisfactory where doors are necessary at each end of the space. This arrangement frequently has the advantage of the parallel walls being closer together than in the typical “U,” but the disadvantage of a greater distance along the corridor.
6) Important factors for kitchen design
- Kitchen is primarily a workplace within the house, it is a room in which the householder may spend long periods so careful design is important.
- The kitchen is also often a meeting point for the family if it contains a dining or snack area. See figure below.
An appropriate arrangement to ease work in the kitchen would be, from right to left: storage surface, cooker,
preparation area, sink, draining surface (Note that left-handed people often prefer to work from left to right.)
- A width of 1.20m between the sides is essential for free movement and using appliances and fittings. With a depth of 60cm on each side this gives a minimum kitchen width of 2.40m as shown in the figure below.
- The minimum area for a cooking recess is 5-6m2; for normal kitchens it is 8-10m2, and 12-14m2 for normal kitchens with dining or snack areas as shown in the figure below.
- For planning purposes, the following width requirements for fittings and equipment may be used: cooker 60cm, twin sinks and draining surface (including dishwasher) 150cm, refrigerator 60cm, freezer 60cm, cupboards (provisions, cleaning materials, crockery and appliances) 170cm. With a worktop surface width of 200cm, this gives a total requirement of 700cm of standing area.
7) Kitchen layout planning
Kitchen layout planning is the process of determining the most efficient and functional arrangement of the elements in a kitchen space.
i) Comfort and workspace nature
A well-designed kitchen is laid out and planned with comfort and function kept in mind at all times. How the space should function not only as a kitchen but how the space fills other needs for the family should be considered.
Also note that
- workstations should be arranged to allow work to flow logically
- work surface height should be designed to eliminate fatigue.
ii) Kitchen design concept
The kitchen work triangle is a concept used to determine efficient kitchen layouts. The primary tasks in a home kitchen are carried out between the cook top, the sink and the refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary lines between them, make up what kitchen experts call the work triangle.
The sum of the sides of the triangles should be not more than 22’ (6705 nor less than 12’ (3660)
- The kitchen work triangle is an important element of kitchen design, as it creates an efficient workspace with clear traffic lanes.
- The triangle connects the centers of the sink, refrigerator, and range or cooktop.
- The work triangle system keeps all major workstations within easy reach of the cook while providing enough space between workstations to avoid crowding.
- The design also helps keep non-chef traffic out from underfoot.
- The guidelines below have stood the test of time and the scrutiny of industrial engineers.
- In larger kitchens there may be a need for two work triangles depending on how you use your space.
- Smaller kitchens, especially one wall kitchens, can be difficult but focus on the tasks that you see yourself using most of the time.
iii) Work triangle
Work Triangle Guidelines
- The sum of the three sides of the triangle should not exceed 26 feet.
- Each leg should measure between 5 and 9 feet.
- No side of the triangle should cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches. No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.
- A second triangle can be created by adding a second sink to an island or fourth-wall peninsula. This is also a way to create a specialty workstation for baking or vegetable prep
- An island is a freestanding piece of cabinetry that is placed in a kitchen to supplement the countertop space. There are an incredible amount of diverse opportunities for personal expression in the creation and inclusion of an island to a kitchen. Referring to this kitchen feature as an island does not infer permanence.
- It is common for owners to purchase a freestanding mobile island to increase a kitchen’s preparation area. An island is also not of limited or specific dimension, which means it can be sized appropriate to the kitchen space available
- The term peninsula refers to an extended counter area that is popular in the G-shaped kitchen floor plan. A kitchen island is a great addition, but most kitchens lack the room to sensibly fit one of a usable size in the center of the available workspace.
- This is why the peninsula is as popular as it is practical. A kitchen peninsula is comparable in size and shape to a standard kitchen island, but the primary difference is that it is butted up against the end of a cabinet run or against a wall. This is how the G-shaped or J-shaped floor plan is achieved.
vi) Factors to consider for design of kitchen layout
- Amount of counter space and workspace Required.
- Type and quantity of under- counter and overhead storage required.
- Requirement of natural light, views and ventilation
- Type and degree of access desired.
- Degree of enclosure envisioned for the space.
- Integration of Plumbing, Electrical and Mechanical systems.
vii) ADA Accessibility guidelines
viii) Kitchen dimensions
ix) Kitchen cabinets
8) Kitchen planning guidelines as per NBC.
The National Building Code (NBC) of India provides guidelines for kitchen planning in order to ensure that kitchens are designed in a safe, hygienic, and efficient manner. Some of the key kitchen planning guidelines as per the NBC are:
The height of a kitchen measured from the surface of the floor to the lowest point in the ceiling (bottom slab) shall not be less than 2.75 m, except for the portion to accommodate floor trap of the upper floor.
- The area of a kitchen where separate dining area is provided, shall be not less than 5.0 m2 with a minimum width of 1.8 m.
- Where there is a separate store, the area of the kitchen may be reduced to 4.5 m2.
- A kitchen, which is intended for use as a dining area also, shall have a floor area of not less than 7.5 m2 with a minimum width of 2.1 m.
iii) Other Requirements
Every room to be used as kitchen shall have,
- Unless separately provided in a pantry, means for the washing of kitchen utensils which shall lead directly or through a sink to a grated and trapped connection to the waste pipe.
- An impermeable floor.
- A flue, if found necessary; and
- A window or ventilator or opening of size not less than as specified in (below in Lighting and Ventilation of Rooms) subject to increase in area of opening in accordance with (below in Lighting and Ventilation of Rooms) (Note 3).
9) Kitchen space / services
i) Counter space surface
- The counter-top surface may be plastic laminate, Butcher block, ceramic tile, marble or Granite, synthetic stone, Concrete or Stainless, Steel.
- Provide a heat- resistant surface next to the range.
- Water supply lines for the sink and dishwasher are required.
- Waste lines for the sink, waste disposal unit and dishwasher are required.
- A minimum of two circuits for small appliances should be provided with outlets spaced 4’ (1220) o.c and about 6” (150) above countertop. These circuit should be protected by ground fault interrupter (GFI).
- Special single-outlet circuits are required for permanently installed appliance such as electric ranges and ovens.
- Separate circuits are required for appliances such as Refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal unit and microwave oven.
- Gas appliances requires separate fuel supply lines
- Provide natural light by means of exterior opening with an area not less than 1/10 of the floor area or minimum 10 sqft (0.93 sqmt).
- Building codes typically allows residential kitchens to be illuminated solely with artificial lighting.
- In addition to general area lighting task lighting is required over each of the work centers and over countertops.
10) Kitchen appliances
Various appliance dimensions when planning a kitchen. For preliminary planning purposes following ranges of widths are used.
- Range: 33” to 40” (840- 1015)
- Refrigerator: 32” to 36” (830 -915)
- Dishwasher: 24” (610)
- Sink: 32” to 42”
In conclusion, kitchen design is a crucial aspect of architecture and building design, as it affects the functionality, livability, and value of a building or home. Kitchen layout planning is an important part of the kitchen design process, as it involves determining the most efficient and functional arrangement of the elements in a kitchen space.