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The Island Kitchen

Daniel Witten-Hannah and Alex Munro's brief to architect Gerrad Hall laid out that they wanted a house with warm simplicity. Inside, the kitchen was of central importance; they wanted it to be the social heart of the home, simple and refined with close attention to detailing and honest materials.

Fisher & Paykel's philosophical approach to the social kitchen - a kitchen thought about in zones rather than a rigid working triangle - influenced much of the approach to how the kitchen was laid out and how it was integrated with the rest of the house. A flexible and open kitchen, dining and living space became the anchor of the house, creating a seamless flow between the kitchen, the other interior spaces, as well as, significantly, to the outside.

The cooking zone along the back wall has the 90cm Built-in Oven and 90cm Gas on Glass Cooktop within the practical stainless steel benchtop giving ample prep space on either side of the stove. The breaklines of the drawers were set to match the finishing lines of the appliances. For the 90cm Built-in Oven, two 60cm Tall DishDrawers™ and the CoolDrawer™, this set the lower line of the middle drawer at 480mm. Inset aluminium Halliday and Baillie handles added a subtle additional material to the kitchen, underscoring a robust, industrial aesthetic as well as emphasising the horizontality of the kitchen.

The storage zone consists of the walk-in pantry, the integrated 90cm ActiveSmart™ Refrigerator and the CoolDrawer™ opposite within the island. As the temperature of the fridge can be changed for a variety of uses, Daniel and Alex use their CoolDrawer™ like a larder, cooler than the dry storage in the pantry and warmer than the 3°C of the fridge.

The washing up zone centres around the sink in the island. Here two 60cm Tall DishDrawers™ sit side-by-side providing ample and flexible space for a busy family's dishes.

Oak floors and concrete elements run throughout the house, and this continues in the kitchen with a concrete island benchtop and faceted oak detailing. Marble on the backsplash also has this similar concrete grey tonality, but with a subtle veined pattern. Inside the pantry you also experience the solid concrete blocks which are an expressed architectural feature on the exterior. Above, on the ceiling, perforated white panels add another subtle texture to the space. The sculptural front of the island is a defining element in this kitchen. The house plan has a series of doglegs in the plan and elevation, and these were the inspiration for the facetted oak.