Kitchen Work Triangle

The kitchen work triangle is an imaginary triangle that connects the sink, refridgerator and hob. This work triangle is functional centre of any kitchen. The goal is to place the 3 most common workareas or zones in the most efficient distance apart, and to minimize unnecessary traffic through this work zone.

The 3 traditional zones are: Hob - Cooking/Hot Zone, Sink - Preparation Zone and Refridgerator - Consumables Zone. It might be different for you if you use the kitchen differently. These represent the 3 points of the work triangle.

Efficiency of the kitchen is the main goal of the kitchen work triangle, as it keeps all the major work areas near to the cook but not so close that the kitchen becomes cramped. The kitchen work triangle is also used to minimize traffic within the kitchen. If the work stations are too far away from each other, it probably means that you'll be taking a few extra steps each time you prepare something in the kitchen. On the other hand, if they are too close it means you might have a cramped kitchen with little place to work.

There are a couple of guidelines when considering the kitchen work triangle:
  • The distance of each side of the triangle should be kept reasonably short to minimise unnecessary movements while preparing meals.
  • The triangle should not cut into an island or peninsula by too much if it cannot be avoided.
I've avoided putting any recommended distance between the zones because I feel that is largely subjective. As long a it works for you, go with it.

While it is common now to read about having 2 or more work triangles to accomodate more cooks or helpers in the kitchen, I believe that should be reserved for those who can accommodate large kitchens. Anyone who has ever been to a HDB kitchen (especially those built recently) will know that 1 triangle is about as many as we can fit in right now.

Does your ID incorporate the work triangle into the kitchen design?


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