The main objective was to create a space where sick children and their families could feel like being in a home, comfort each other, be with other families in a setting that did not feel institutional. The stay for children and their families can range from months to years.
The kitchen is used by multiple families and the challenge was simply the limited existing footprint. By locating a coffee station and snack prep area, including a small fridge outside of the main kitchen in a non-functional “bar area,” pressure was alleviated from the main kitchen, reducing congestion.
The cabinetry was designed to optimize usable prep space, barrier-free access, and (locked) storage. Two large floor-to-ceiling fridges and a floor-to-ceiling freezer were incorporated for extra storage of perishables which allowed each family to have their own area in a fridge.
The finishes had to be durable, germ resistant, and bright/playful. All new large and small appliances helped with energy consumption.
What made this renovation really appealing was the cause and how our partners rallied. Our part was pro bono, other suppliers and trades either pro bono or at cost. Imagine a home with 16 families without a kitchen. With the help of all of our trade partners, who went above and beyond, the new kitchen was operational in 3 weeks!
The project was not without its challenges though. The existing HVAC system did not allow for the cooling of the kitchen area, so a ceiling-mount ductless A/C unit was sourced and installed with the lineset through the upper bedroom walls and out the roof area. There were no shut-off valves at the fixtures, so the entire house was without water while the plumbing was completed. The biggest challenge though was to have a functional “temporary” kitchen to keep the existing residents accommodated. We had the assistance of one of our past clients; Chef Jeff, who volunteered to prepare meals.
Overall this was a fun and rewarding project!