The Functional Kitchen
The Functional Kitchen
June 29, 2021
By Remona Divekar
Sunil Patil, Principal Architect, Sunil Patil & Associates believes in having a communicative, open, interactive and functional kitchen, connected to the whole house, that’s what he tries to put forth through this project ‘The Long House’.
Minimalism has long been the mantra for a while for spaces with clean lines, pared-down forms and no-frills design. ‘Less is more’ is a way of life that celebrates a simple, clutter-free existence in this kitchen project ‘Long House’ based out of Pune. With the right amount of aesthetics, it is possible to fuse aesthetics with functionality. This kitchen is the perfect blend of modern minimalism and Indian sensibilities, thanks to some creative thinking and smart tweaks by the architect.
The kitchen featured in this Long House Project manages to not only incorporate the necessary appliances and seating that is required in a kitchen, without compromising on the functionality but also to ensure that each space is imbued with its own sense of style. The idea was to keep it simple and functional. People are increasingly leaning towards modern and engaging kitchens that can accommodate their needs. Unlike earlier days when kitchens were used for cooking purpose only, these days they have become multi-functional such as the breakfast corner, barbecue centre, lunch and dinner for many families and thus, they need to be aesthetically pleasing as well as more functional.
Long House is in Viman Nagar, near Pune Airport. It belongs to a business family. “The house is designed according to the plot, if you see the geometry of the house the form of the plot is vertically long, that is why it is called a Long House,” says the architect. The plot is about 7,000 sq ft and has consumed FSI 1 again the built-up is almost the same. In addition, it has a basement, parking, and servant’s quarters so the built-up would be around 8,000 sq ft.
A breakfast table with a yellow frame enhances the look and feel of this open kitchen.
Briefing about this particular kitchen project, Patil says, “This kitchen played an integral role in overall connectivity of the house where the concept of the kitchen was not different from the house. With minimalist cabinetry, neutral colour palettes and metallic accents, this contemporary kitchen has a subtle elegance that will never go out of style. It blends aspects of modern design with other styles, including traditional and contemporary look that is sleek but not sterile.”
On the design brief, he says, “The basic brief was for a nuclear family of parents and two children. The son is staying here and the daughter is studying in the US. Clients wanted to have the ultra-modern house fully automated, having these sonic control systems. For instance, they want to order something through voice command.”
There is a certain myth associated with the open kitchens that they are rather hard to maintain, the reason being open. They are easily visible and require proper maintenance and regular cleaning but the benefit is that they can be easily assimilated into other areas of the home. Open kitchens are instrumental in bonding between the people in the kitchen and dining.
The kitchen space is around 15 ft x 16 ft and compared to dining it looks small, but the architect believes it is quite a good size for the kitchen. This kitchen is an open kitchen, open for bonding within the family with no partition in between the kitchen and dining with a buffer zone. A breakfast table with a yellow frame provides the look and feel of the space, well ventilated with natural lights and windows that prove to be an integral part of the kitchen. As far as the natural lights and ventilation are concerned there is ample of that.
The flooring is quite neutral in colour with shades of grey. It was designed in such a way that it looks like a part of dining; it compliments the overall ambience of the kitchen area. To the left of the dining area is a canvas painting part of the kitchen that is rotating. These frames are altogether 9x9 in different canvas paintings, changeable and configured. It complements the decor of the dining room.
The kitchen, being the busiest area inside the house, should have enough light that lights up during the day as well as later in the night. Task lighting provides lighting on and above the work area used on the tabletop where maximum work is carried out, placed right above the gas stove. Also, indirect lighting is used, concealed at many places and whatever points you see it open which are not indirect LED, merged with the ceilings.
As far as the natural lights and ventilation are concerned there is ample of that. Ambient lighting is installed which illuminates the entire kitchen area. This should be one or a pair of two, which can light up the entire space used when no particular task is being carried out when dining inside the kitchen. White lights are preferred for the kitchens instead of the yellow ones, installing switches right next to the door of the kitchen. It is important to decide and finalise the lighting ahead of time because the wiring should be done before the cabinets are put up.
This kitchen project is ultra-modern, design-wise and material-wise where the platform and the cooking range with a yellow frame provide a counter for the breakfast table, which holds two chimneys in the circular form in stainless steel. Overall this kitchen was expected to be very high-tech, modern kitchens in looks as well as in operations. Simple, natural light cuts down on the need for artificial illumination and therefore it saves energy.