Unlike most apartment kitchens today, the clients chose to keep theirs hidden.
A luxury apartment in an architecturally significant building at Sydney’s Macquarie Street needed a new kitchen, and Dan Kitchens faced a number of unique challenges.
Prominent in Sydney’s CBD, the building’s modern heritage listing means refits have to adhere to the original architect’s vision, and Dan Kitchens designer Arthur Baskin says the small kitchen space made the project a tricky one.
“To be honest, it’s quite daunting because at the end of the day you’re manipulating something that’s of a very high standard, there’s a definite look that follows through the building,” Baskin says.
“We had to work not only within a confined space, because of the structural elements, but also to the client’s brief and then respecting the architect’s intentions.”
Entering the kitchen reveals crisp white doors, grey tones and copper highlights, providing a calm ambience.
The clients wanted the latest premium appliances, for that reason they chose from the Miele 6000 range. Here we can see a Miele steamer, wall oven and plate drawer in Clean Steel finish.
Expertise comes into its own
Significant advances in kitchen cabinetry and Dan Kitchens’ 32 years of experience in the industry made it possible to get more out of the original kitchen space than was thought achievable.
“We doubled the size of the storage in that space without actually changing the footprint of the kitchen,” Baskin says.
Although some kitchens are deliberately planned to be a focal point of a home, the clients favoured a more discreet approach, the kitchen being hidden behind a wall as it was originally designed. But after 16 years, there were problems with the original appliances and cabinetry.
“The builders fitted it with high-end appliances, but they chose the entry level models,” Baskin explains. “The clients later discovered that the appliances didn’t have all the functions they needed. Also, it was basic cabinetry, swollen and water damaged, and huge gaps had opened up.”
A 90cm Sub-Zero built-in fridge and an integrated 45cm wine fridge sit opposite the Miele wall appliances. Weighing at around 250kg, the 90cm fridge required some specialist lifting equipment to bring it into position.
The Sub-Zero wine fridge integrated behind one of the copper doors.
The cooking area. The doors above are faced in glass, adding a translucent effect to the doors.
Floor to ceiling windows provide plenty of natural light to the kitchen.
A nod to the original
The Axolotl light textured copper finish in the kitchen was a colour accent taken from the building’s exterior tiles, while jet black granite benchtops complemented the original basalt floor tiles.
Appliances chosen were low-key and high-quality: Miele 6000 wall appliances in Clean Steel, Miele integrated rangehood paired with an induction cooktop and a Blanco undermount sink. Dan Kitchens also managed to squeeze in a 90cm Sub-Zero fridge and adjacent wine fridge.
Because Dan Kitchens made no structural changes to the kitchen apart from widening a doorway, Baskin says there was almost no consultation with the building’s owners corporation.
“If you were starting to take walls out, you would have to liaise with the body corporate,” he explains.
“But if it’s a lightweight internal partition – like our widening the doorway – you don’t have to bother them. If you’re changing the hard surface area, such as changing a carpet to tiles, then you do – so we avoided that.”
Every inch of space is utilised in this kitchen – the joinery is built right to the very edge of the window.
The decision to use copper doors from Axolotl was influenced by the orange exterior facade of the building.
Genius with space
Making better use of the space was easy for the Dan Kitchens team, given their experience in designing apartment kitchens within small spaces and fine tolerances. In fact, the results were so successful that the team has been invited back to work its magic on the apartment’s wardrobe spaces.
“Word of mouth about that project was so positive that we are now at work on our third apartment in the same building,” says Baskin proudly.
An ever changing view from the kitchen.