Invisible difference

Concealed behind the sleek, streamlined kitchen in this apartment is a fully equipped wet kitchen designed on a commercial scale
View of open-plan kitchen area featuring island woodgrain cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, room, wood, wood flooring, gray
View of open-plan kitchen area featuring island woodgrain laminate benchtop, other stainless steel benchtops, appliances, wooden flooring, bar stools, cabinetry.

Different life and cooking styles call for quite specific approaches to kitchen design. A wet kitchen is an essential part of Asian cooking, while this facility isn't needed with European cooking methods. In some homes, cooking is part of the regular family ritual, while in other households the kitchen is the cook's domain. For those who frequently entertain guests, space for a chef may be required.

Traditionally, the kitchen has been a standard part of the house, and homeowners have made the most of what's there. Now, however, architects and kitchen designers are creating more flexible spaces to meet a greater range of cultural and lifestyle preferences.

In the large, high-end apartment featured on these pages, the architectural and kitchen design team at Ong&Ong, led by studio director Lynn Ng, has created a space that can be used in a variety of ways.

"We designed the apartment for the owners, a wealthy older couple. They entertain regularly on a fairly grand scale, and also like to have their family and grandchildren to stay," she says.


View of wet kitchen featuring a walk-in chiller floor, flooring, glass, interior design, shelving, orange, brown
View of wet kitchen featuring a walk-in chiller with glass door.

The design team created a smart, understated kitchen at one end of the main living area. An island provides some visual separation between the two areas. This kitchen is fully fitted with an oven, cooktop, dishwasher, refrigerator, coffee machine and storage for food, crockery and cutlery.

"We envisage that this kitchen will be used for European-style cooking, or for preparing casual family meals. Bar stools at the island provide space where friends can enjoy a coffee or grandchildren can eat their breakfast cereal," says the studio director.

To enhance the decor of the larger living area, calm, relaxing colours were selected for the materials and finishes in this kitchen. To ensure the kitchen is user-friendly, all elements are easy to use and maintain, and appliances have intelligent controls.

Concealed behind the front kitchen, with an entrance to one side of it, is a second, fully equipped kitchen that can be used for Asian cooking or can become a dedicated space for a chef when the owners are entertaining.

View of open-plan kitchen area featuring island woodgrain interior design, orange, brown
View of open-plan kitchen area featuring island woodgrain laminate benchtop, other stainless steel benchtops, appliances, wooden flooring, bar stools, cabinetry.

"The two kitchens are both completely self-contained so, if it suits your lifestyle better, you need only ever use one of them," says Lynn Ng.

The wet kitchen has been designed along the lines of a commercial kitchen, with robust appliances and durable materials, so that a professional chef can come into the house and work in it easily and efficiently. The cooktop, oven and ventilation, as well as stainless steel benchtops for food preparation, run along one side of the kitchen. Open storage shelves on the opposite wall ensure that utensils, condiments and other cooking essentials are easy to find and close at hand.

At one end of this kitchen is a large commercial chiller room. This is suitable for storing large quantities of wine, fruit, vegetables or meat simply by setting the temperature to the required level prior to use.

To link the two kitchens, both feature the same cabinetry, natural colour palette and materials, and both are laid out to ensure they are pleasant and enjoyable to be in. From the front kitchen, the view outside is across the apartment's large balcony, while the preparation benchtop in the second kitchen is located beneath a window that also has a view.

Feb 02, 2010
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