The idea of the Social Kitchen is at the centre of Fisher & Paykel's vision for our kitchens of today and tomorrow a versatile hub of the home where we cook, prepare food, help our kids with their homework and entertain friends. Gone are the days where appliances dictated limiting work triangles instead advanced appliances are seamlessly integrated into a wider, more user-friendly vision. And the company has taken this concept literally to heart in the fit-out of its new Sydney offices.
The brief to designer Jonathan Custance was for a flexible, collaborative workplace for 65 staff that could accommodate a growth in numbers to 90 without need for hard fit-out alterations. The project also had to include F&P and Haier showrooms and embody F&P's vision and brand values.
In response Custance transformed a standard rectilinear 1340m² floor into a light-filled, fluid space where there's a sense of discovery and connection.
Visitors or clients arrive at the first-floor offices via a rear lift core, with the reception straight ahead. From here they're guided either towards the showrooms to left and right, or around the reception station to discover the Social Kitchen and pod-like meeting rooms directly behind the reception wall.
"The Social Kitchen is symbolically placed at the heart of the design as a place of sociability, collaboration, creativity and eating together," says Custance. "Staff use the space to both cook in and to socialise, and at the same time whether clerk or salesperson get the feel of F&P's latest models."
The Social Kitchen and eight meeting room pods together form a central zone that neatly bisects the entire room with desking running back on both sides.