Routes across the kitchen

Kitchen planning made easy

In order to design a practical kitchen, you should plan the walking routes between the different working zones carefully. Making this an effective working space should always be your top priority.

graphic representation of the typical routes in the kitchen

A kitchen can be split into three working areas: cooking (oven), washing (sink) and provisions (refrigerator). These zones shouldn’t be too far from one another in order to ensure that the walking routes within the kitchen don’t become too long. You should plan your work flow in such a way that everything you need for preparing ingredients is to hand. Plan it so that the oven, refrigerator and dishwasher are all within clear view and comfortable reach. Ideally, you should arrange things in the same order as your working steps. In the perfect plan, a magic triangle emerges between the cooking, rinsing and refrigeration zones of your kitchen.

Work flow should be unimpeded

A kitchen should be arranged for more than just one cook. If someone is cooking, they shouldn’t be obstructed by other helpers. It’s best to prevent walking routes from cutting across each other, as far as possible. At the same time, everyone should be able to get to the stations where they are needed. In a well-coordinated kitchen, several people are able to work undisturbed at the same time. As such, as early as the planning stage you should be thinking about how many people are going to be in the kitchen at the same time. In order to come up with a suitable spatial concept, you should ideally make sure that the shape of the kitchen chimes with your work flow, in order to achieve an optimised working triangle. This magic triangle and the freedom of movement enjoyed by one, two or more cooks will differ depending on the shape of the kitchen.

Walking routes and worktops need to be wide enough

Routes within the kitchen should not be impaired by protruding corners or edges. People tend to move in curved paths. You should be mindful of this and plan convenient walking routes. In some kitchens, the main working spaces at the sink (60–70 percent of working time) and at the oven (10–20 per cent) may be disrupted. You should ensure that you have enough free space for you to walk around open doors or pulled-out drawers. The space free for walking through the kitchen should be a minimum of 90 cm wide. In sitting areas you want a radius of at least 90–120 cm around the table. This guarantees that a person behind the table can walk alongside it, even if someone else is still sitting down.

Minimum distances between working zones

Together with optimal walking routes, you should also be sure to maintain minimum gaps between the different working zones when doing your planning. There should be a worktop of at least 80 cm between the cooktop and the sink. This area should be set aside for preparing food for cooking, and washing dishes if necessary. Ideally, provided that there’s room, the optimal worktop size between the oven and sink should be 120 cm, so that you can also keep kitchen appliances on the worktop. There should be a distance of at least 50 cm between the refrigerator and cooktop so that you can place food that you’ve just taken out there, as well as leaving you enough room for manoeuvre while cooking.

This ensures that cooking and baking in the kitchen are the way they should be: a pleasure, not a burden.

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