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Kitchen renovation provides contemporary design, with three stainless steel workstations

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Kitchen remodel by Ridolfi Architecture features quartzite stone around stainless steel cabinets with freestanding wall hiding scullery

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A contemporary extension to an Art Deco house provided a blank canvas for the design of this new kitchen. But it wasn't without a few challenges, says architect Domenic Ridolfi of Ridolfi Architecture.

"The extension, at the rear of the house, faces south, so we needed to maximise the natural light. It was also important to provide a modern living space while being respectful of the Art Deco style of the existing cottage."

Ridolfi says the owners have worked in the hospitality industry for many years, and this was also a key design influence.

"They wanted a modern, innovative space that would evoke the entertaining spirit. A simplicity of form and materials was essential."

With this in mind, Ridolfi created a large, free-flowing space with ample glazing – the glass wall beside the stairs overlooks a courtyard that functions as a light well. There are also skylights that bring light into the work areas and scullery in the heart of the home.


Instead of traditional cabinetry, the architect designed three commercial-style stainless steel workstations, and wrapped these in quartzite stone to create three sculptural volumes. A scullery behind a freestanding wall conceals a refrigerator, wine cellar and pantry storage.

"I enjoyed pulling apart the idea of a kitchen, and not conforming to any preconceived notion of how a kitchen should work," the architect says. "Each of the three work areas has a specific role to play. The main food preparation area has a large sink and a bank of appliances, including a Smeg double-oven range. The workstation on the wall behind this is ideal for washing and preparing vegetables – these are stored in refrigerator drawers beneath the counter."

The third, aligned workstation at one side of the kitchen is for entertaining – this is where coffee and drinks are prepared.

"The two main benches are higher than usual, allowing family and friends to stand around and enjoy food tasting, a drink and good conversation," says Ridolfi.

First published date: 30 April 2015

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Credit List

Architect Ridolfi Architecture (Melbourne) – Domenic Ridolfi and Amos Matteri
Kitchen manufacturer Wolfgang Braun
Cabinetry Quartzite stone from CDK Stone, and stainless steel in kitchen; stained timber in pantry
Benchtops Quartzite stone from CDK Stone
Flooring Ebond over heated concrete slab
Sink Stainless steel
Taps A2F
Oven, cooktop, ventilation and dishwasher Smeg
Refrigeration KBR commercial