Kitchen design that integrates with the architecture

Sayes Stock Kitchen Auckland

Kitchens are built-in design elements that are at once highly functional and expressive: typically the ‘engine room’ of the family home, they must also work with the architecture of the building. We review three examples, made of humble materials, whose personalities reinforce the overall design. Photography Simon Wilson.

Sayes Stock kitchen, Auckland by Henri Sayes

Despite the constraints of a tight section and an even tighter budget, architect Henri Sayes sought to create a unique house for himself and his wife. The small but cleverly designed kitchen repurposes inexpensive materials, draws in light, and mixes and matches Fisher & Paykel appliances to create a functional and bright space. A pantry is neatly tucked below the staircase, and reflective white cabinetry is punctuated with custom black-chromed handles. White tiles laid in a diamond pattern, and picked out in dark grout, reinforce the cubic nature of the space, neatly contained below a single-height ceiling to serve the tall, double-height living space adjacent. See more at Sayes Studio.


Fabricate Bach Kitchen

Bach kitchen, Langs Beach by Fabricate

The kitchen is the central feature of this small beach bach. It is generously sized to maximise the holiday-time focus around food and social gathering, and is afforded some luxuries in an otherwise simple dwelling. Cedar panelling, in a matt oiled finish, contrasts with the cool, glossy white surfaces of the island and a stainless steel workbench. Overhead cupboards are eschewed in favour of a scullery, allowing the cedar panelling an unobstructed presence in the living space. The result is a kitchen that is at once minimalist and warm. See more at Fabricate.


Red Architecture Plywood Barn Kitchen

Plywood kitchen, Waikato by Red Architecture

In this rural kitchen, style and function are integrated with the larger living space. Solid plywood cabinetry offers a warm yet robust choice against the surrounding exposed trusses, industrial hanging lights and concrete floor. A flexible plan layout with mobile units, including an island bench on castor wheels, allows changes from the day-to- day layout to other configurations, such as children’s birthday parties and casual gatherings. Overhead, pendant lights run on steel tracks to permit flexible placement. Along with the semi-industrial spirit of the house, services remain honest and exposed, adding to the richness of the space. See more at Red Architecture.


Originally published in The Design Guide issue 5, 2015.


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