NKBA 2003 Design competition: Category 11: Non-residential Spaces

NKBA 2003 Design competition: Category 11: Non-residential Spaces

1st Traveling Display Makes Wishes Come True


Initially, this display was designed to be the focal point of a food and wine event in California, held in conjunction with Gourmet magazine. Therefore, ease of installation was key to its design, according to Tobias.

However, she knew that the display would then also travel the country as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation's "Grand Tasting" food demonstration benefit, sponsored by Viking Range Corp. and Bon Appetit magazine. So, in addition to installation ease, the display needed to break down easily, as well as be sturdy while assembled, she notes.

"I had to think about how the walls would break down," Tobias comments. "I did not want to use wall-to-wall cabinetry, because it takes too long to install." Because of this, she included as little attached cabinetry as possible.

While this aspect of the display was challenging, Tobias found that integrating an array of stainless steel products per the client's request and accommodating the professional chefs who were going to cook in it was equally tough.

The display incorporates three angled walls, set at 45°, which allows for a wide viewing area for the audience. The back wall is stepped forward, which creates a point of interest behind the ceiling mirror that was required for the cooking demonstrations, she explains. This technique also enabled her to prominently display the Viking Range Corp. cooktop, oven, range, dishwasher, refrigerator, ventilation, ice maker, wine unit and warming drawer that are featured throughout the display.

According to Tobias, the overall contemporary aesthetic of the display is enhanced by the clean line cabinetry from Heritage Custom Cabinetry.

The display's design also needed to work for cooking shows. "It's different when you do a cooking demonstration [display as opposed to a residential installation] because the chef brings his food prepared," comments Tobias. "The two main things [to focus on] were the top of the island, for preparation, and the refrigerator, to store food. [Therefore], the island was designed to give the chef one large surface to work on."

The cooking surface was kept to one side to better accommodate the cooking process. To accomplish this, the designer eliminated cabinet doors and installed roll-out shelving onto the island to create easy access for cooking equipment. She also integrated open-tray dividers next to the range to provide "beautiful and functional" ways to store trays used for food preparation.

To create a stark contrast to the abundance of stainless steel, a custom, vibrant blue finish was added to the cabinetry. An open-shelf cabinet, aluminum frame glass doors and varying cabinet heights are also incorporated into the design to add interest and lighten the design. Commercial-grade flooring and stainless steel countertops further complement the contemporary feel.

Lighting was also a key component to the display's success, according to the designer.

"The lighting plan includes interior halogen cabinet and overhead lights," she says. "While the chef is cooking, the lighting is bright. During breaks, the space is washed in soft blue lights, creating a surreal effect."