SPACE ON A HUMAN SCALE
Modular kitchens, at your service
As well as a feeling of simply enjoying being in the home, the idea of domestic comfort is connected with both physical/sensory well-being and emotional/psychological well-being. A comfortable kitchen is one that is easy to manage and “smart”. The starting point for any good design is surely how well it responds to a rational organisation of the space and furniture. It should also avoid the need for excessively tiring and unnatural movements, making food preparation and cleaning as easy as possible.
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics analyses the relationship between the human body and the objects we use and the spaces we live and work in, in order to optimise movements and avoid unnatural postures that could be harmful to our health.
In the home, the kitchen is one of the areas that most benefits from ergonomics. It ensures ease of use and allows you to move comfortably in the space based on your physical requirements and habits. Ask yourself…
Have you ever thought that you move between the dining table and kitchen over 30 times a day? That you open and close drawers, removable shelves and cabinet doors over 80 times a day? That you complete over 50 tasks every day at the kitchen worktop and sink – such as chopping parsley, rinsing lettuce and preparing desserts?
What makes a kitchen truly ergonomic?
The “WORK TRIANGLE” is the base around which kitchen furniture is arranged. The three main work activities are carried out in this space: food preparation, cooking and washing. It is important that everything in the kitchen is within easy reach, and that you can move freely and comfortably without tiring yourself.
One very simple rule is therefore to unite the STORAGE AREA (cupboard, refrigerator), WASHING AREA (sink, dishwasher) and COOKING AREA (hob) using small work triangles. In an optimally arranged kitchen these three zones should be divided by worktops.
The ideal length of the imaginary line that unites the sink, refrigerator and hob should be no longer than 6m. The length of the individual sides of the triangle, however, can vary based on the size and shape of the room. Ideally, the distance between each zone should be at least 90cm. Excessive distances waste energy, requiring continuous movement from one end of the kitchen to the other. If the three points are too close together however, working becomes uncomfortable and cramped.
Divide the space dedicated to your future Aishwarya kitchen into sections. Start with the zone dedicated to storing food, which should include the refrigerator and ideally some storage cabinets, as well as a surface for preparing food. After this comes the cooking area, which should include a surface for resting hot pots and pans on next to the oven and hob. The sink area should also include a space where plates and cutlery can be placed after washing. The most important work space in a kitchen is the one between the sink and the hob; this is where most activities are carried out. Identify the main food preparation area between these two points. This should be the most continuous and longest work surface in the kitchen and should be strong and durable enough to serve a meal on.
Here are some useful tips….
Even though the dimensions of the triangular area vary according to the size and shape of the kitchen, here below are a few fundamental concepts.
- Given that plumbing works are very expensive, design your new kitchen based around the current position of your sink. Place the dishwasher near the sink, this way it will be easier to install the necessary pipes.
- Place a worktop near the refrigerator so that food can be removed and laid down quickly, reducing the time the refrigerator door is open.
- The hob should be located along an exterior wall in order to facilitate the installation of an effective extraction system. Alternatively, and in the event that the cooking appliances are built into a central island unit, install a suspended extraction hood.
- Avoid placing tall storage units or dresser units within the work triangle area. In a built-in kitchen it is advisable to group together the tallest units at one end of a continuous work surface and in general in an area outside of the triangle.
- Calculate the space required to fully open the doors of the electrical appliances. Dishwashers require a lot of space as in order to use them you need to be able to stand in front or to one side of them.