Cooking, making, sharing, and eating form the glue in our lives. We are nourished physically, socially, and emotionally through food – both via its origins, its rituals, and its traditions. We come together.
We come together to talk, to share, to bear each other’s burdens over good food and wine. Food connects us to the past, present, and future. We come together.
Across many cultures and places, the making of food is a shared experience, involving groups small and large. Making, when paired with cultivating vegetables, herbs, fruit, and honey, becomes a potent shared experience. Traditions and legacy are passed down and through to new generations and to friends, for the enjoyment of all. We come together.
Our kitchen/garden concept ‘Come Together’ brings a self-sustaining edible garden up close to a kitchen that is flexible and robust, such that the kitchen becomes embedded in the landscape. It is designed to allow for varying levels of enclosure and opening, depending on the seasons, the gathering size, the occasion, and the modes of cooking. Cooking practices and rituals mark out place and time, and by turning its focus to the garden, the spatial design of the kitchen enshrines a specific, focused experience.
An oversized inside/outside worktable – sectioned and running on tracks for flexibility of use – forms the centre piece of the space. Completely open underneath for the storage of stools, baskets, boxes, and other containers to store harvested food, the table accommodates intimate family dinners, large noisy gatherings, and casual BBQs with friends.
A generous sink bench has direct access to the herb garden, with a drying rack for herbs and fruits above and a special draining bench for cleaning freshly harvested vegetables. The simple but incredibly functional Zip Tap All-In-One Celsius Arc delivers literally all the home water needs from a single tap; boiled, chilled and sparkling filtered water, plus hot and cold washing up water. This not only allows more room for food preparation, but it also brings a healthier focus to the kitchen. With the sparkling water option, it reduces the need for bought juices and fizzy drinks.
Night setting with the tables connected, doors and windows retracted maximising the living area.
The south-western entry to space is flanked by the food storage hub (fridge and pantry), with a Miele oven stack opposite the large worktable. All Miele items were selected to be as seamless as possible with the joinery, obsidian black with no handles. We included multiple oven options for different food preparations, which is in keeping with a flexible cooking space. The vacuum sealer drawer is to allow for sealing fresh foods, portioning and marinating foods, which is ideal for larger families or even downsized couples.
An array of sliding and bi-folding doors and large gas-lift awning and bi-folding windows allow for various combinations of openings and circulation flows, paired with highlight louvered windows for natural ventilation and lighting. A Flow Hive is positioned in view of the Kitchen, near the fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables to encourage pollination and steady honey production.
Materials have been selected for their durability and aging qualities – the oversized worktable has a copper surface with sturdy steel legs for stability and leanness. Appliances have been selected for their capacity to stack and seamlessly blend with the design, giving priority to the kitchen/garden space and its broadened functional scope.
Outdoor cooking is embraced with the integrated Escea fireplace / outdoor cooking facility, allowing preparation to occur outside and for food to be readily cooked and enjoyed in the casual outdoor area with minimal movement through and around the space.
The kitchen and garden are articulated by strong, hardwearing materials – off-form concrete and recycled timber boards bring timeless and simple construction to the articulation of the space. This extends into the spatial arrangements with the worktable framed externally by bleacher-style sitting steps, integrated with the garden beds and a patio space that overlaps with the barbecuing area.
The axial view from the table is formed by a row of climbing plants along what might be a garden wall or indeed a boundary fence as if often the case in limited suburban blocks. A trellis-style pergola that would allow the growing of grapevines or similar provides shade and a transitional signal to the temporality of the outdoor eating area. The design encourages participation and occupation of the garden.
Kitchen and garden come together. Find out more here.
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Our thanks to the team from HouseLab for contributing this article, originally published and written by HouseLab.
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