Kitchen of the Week: Kitchen in THAT ‘white house’ is also design-savvy

From the floor to the ceiling, and even the main appliances – this is the all-white kitchen in a Wellington house known as the White House. The project won a Resene Colour Award in the NZIA Architecture Awards this year.

Paul McCredie/Stuff

From the floor to the ceiling, and even the main appliances – this is the all-white kitchen in a Wellington house known as the White House. The project won a Resene Colour Award in the NZIA Architecture Awards this year.

There’s an award-winning house in Brooklyn, Wellington that has received a lot of attention this year, and not just from the locals.

It’s an architecturally designed all-white house by Andrew Sexton Architecture. And it’s not surprising to see the kitchen keeps to the theme. Designer Damian Hannah of German Kitchens says the client’s wish was simple: “White with a little more white and some extra white on top.

“My client is very design conscious, and with the white palette wanted the design features of the Poggenpohl kitchen to be the focus,” Hannah says. “The kitchen had to be functional and responsive to the environment. And most of all it had to be eye-catchingly beautiful to sit among the other unique design elements that surround the space.”

The White Treasure Box, also known as the White House was designed by Andrew Sexton Architecture and built by Planit Construction. Both firms won awards for the project. Most recently, the house won the Wellington and Wairarapa Master Builders Supreme House of the Year over $1 million award.

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The White Treasure Box, also known as the White House was designed by Andrew Sexton Architecture and built by Planit Construction. Both firms won awards for the project. Most recently, the house won the Wellington and Wairarapa Master Builders Supreme House of the Year over $1 million award.

Hannah says he took the Bauhaus narrative “less is more” approach and “worked on the essentials without the fluff”.

“While drawing the concepts, I eliminated the plinths and then the lower cabinetry area to create a ‘floating’ kitchen. I lined this up with the recessed skirting boards, which allowed the white floorboards to extend all the way to the walls. This freed the room of built-in cabinets and brought depth to the space.”

The 3m-long cabinetry is suspended by a large structural steel frame, with a single skinny chrome leg at each end. “The steel framework also gave me room to run the required services, and to provide extra bench depth to create a useable workspace,” the designer says.

The cabinetry wraps around two walls, ensuring the spectacular views are not blocked. The design lifts the cabinetry right off the floor.

Paul McCredie

The cabinetry wraps around two walls, ensuring the spectacular views are not blocked. The design lifts the cabinetry right off the floor.

To borrow light and reflect the stunning views, a white high-gloss lacquer was specified for the cabinets. These are teamed with organic Corian benchtops with a fabricated Corian sink and moulded Corian splashback. There’s also an illuminated Corian shelf that retains the white palette.

“There is a movement to the Corian material that adds interest to the white theme,” Hannah says. “And the freestanding white Smeg Fab fridge was specified as a juxtaposition to the contemporary aesthetic. With its radius edges, the fridge adds a softness and it has the space to truly stand alone to show off its organic form.”

Wall cabinets were sacrificed for a simple accessible shelf. This helps accentuate the ceiling height and provides room for the clients’ artwork to break up the white.

Because of the simple colour palette, design features, such as the furniture-style cabinetry and Smeg Fab fridge take precedence.

Paul McCredie

Because of the simple colour palette, design features, such as the furniture-style cabinetry and Smeg Fab fridge take precedence.

White lacquered cabinets are teamed with Corian benchtops, splashbacks and fabricated sink. The Corian shelf is anchored via a steel bar inserted into the plasterboard.

Paul McCredie

White lacquered cabinets are teamed with Corian benchtops, splashbacks and fabricated sink. The Corian shelf is anchored via a steel bar inserted into the plasterboard.

To minimalist the appearance of the appliances, a Gaggenau induction hob with combined downdraft ventilation was specified, along with a white Miele combination steam oven. An integrated Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer also helps with the seamless look.

Standard chrome fittings avoid the need to add another colour to the kitchen.

Hannah says there were challenges with the project, including height variations in the newly poured concrete floor, and the need to suspend the heavy Corian shelves with inbuilt illumination.

“Hours spent with the fabricator and lots of sketches and drawings later we devised a plan. A simple 6mm plate steel bar was inserted into the wall prior to the plasterboard. The bespoke Corian shelf was designed to slide over this, which allowed invisible fixings.”

The result is a sleek, streamlined kitchen that’s “all about the essentials, and not the fluff”, just as the owner wanted.

Designer Damian Hannah (pictured) says he worked on the essentials, without the fluff.

Paul McCredie

Designer Damian Hannah (pictured) says he worked on the essentials, without the fluff.

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