After some months, the office kitchen has taken shape. The main function of this loft is that of an architecture-studio. The kitchen, therefore, has to be on the ground level away from the upper-level private quarters because it will be used by employees and serve as a design showcase and entertainment area for visiting clients. The area under the loft staircase was chosen because it forms a natural alcove, is not in the way of the space designated for the office work space and is along the same wall as existing drain lines at the front of the loft. The first step in building the kitchen was bringing water and electricity to the area. We designed the kitchen layout and marked the final cabinet measurements on the wall to serve as reference points for placing the new water lines, drains, and electrical outlets.
|Copper Water Pipes, Cast Iron Drain & Electrical Conduit|
The second step was building a new wall/alcove perpendicular to the main wall to serve as a place for the refrigerator to rest against and as a visual boundary of the kitchen area. The alcove had to be a very specific width to accommodate the refrigerator, the required airspaces at the top and sides of the fridge, and the tall cabinets that would frame the fridge. Since we didn't have the fridge or cabinets yet it was important to consult the manufacturers' cut-sheets for exact measurements. The width of the drywall also had to be kept in mind when we set up the steel framing, otherwise the alcove would have been too narrow once the drywall and mud was on.
|New Fridge Alcove Walls (Ctr)|
Plumbing and Electrical on Left
With the completion of the walls around the new kitchen area, we were ready to install the fire-engine red cabinets. While the choice of cabinets and appliances seriously strained the firm's budget, we felt it was a necessary business expense. The architecture studio is intended to showcase the firm's design sensibilities as well as display different kinds of materials, casework, and modern appliances. We need clients to be interested and inspired, and kitchens generate a lot of interest because they are a central gathering spot associated with entertainment and comfort. An architecture firm's need to exhibit examples of design sensibility as well as the business need to host gatherings, talks, and various client functions where appetizers and drinks will be served means a showpiece kitchen is a necessary part of our business. It is the main trade fixture expense we have incurred thus far, although we were able to negotiate trade discounts for various of the materials and appliances.
|Cabinets After Installation.|
Countertops & Island Siding Remain to be Done
The modern, red, glossy cabinets are eye-catching and have a commercial look that blends into a professional office environment. We designed the kitchen so that the components can be easily dismantled and removed, and the electrical and water lines are surface-mounted to avoid causing damage to the existing structure.
|Office Micro (Top) and Small Oven|
The next step is to install the counter tops, backsplashes, facing materials, sink, cooktop and exhaust hood.