Please Note: This Article is 8 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Space is at a premium in the heart of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – one of London’s most fashionable and affluent areas. And it’s the space saving benefits of Elfin Kitchens’ all-in-one compact kitchens that provided the perfect solution for 80+ studios in Princess Beatrice House – an impressive 1930s building, formerly used as a hospital and a hostel.

The seven-storey brick and stone construction was completely stripped out and fully refurbished to the highest standard to create private student accommodation. Each self-contained studio had to maximise every centimetre of space, with the proposed layout positioning the kitchen area right next to the door and the only means of escape. So, the kitchens not only had to be space efficient and of course look good, but meet demanding Building Control fire regulation requirements too.

Whilst researching the challenging kitchen situation, the client representative and project architect discovered a previous, similar project where Elfin kitchens had been installed and called the company in. Elfin Kitchens’ representatives met them on-site to discuss requirements and went away to build a prototype, which was delivered to site for the project team to review and approve.

The prebuilt mini kitchen, manufactured from white powder coated steel, is just 1200mm wide with matching wall cupboards, all featuring stainless steel door and drawer furniture, slim foam filled doors and drawer fronts.

Elfin also supplied some accessible versions, which provide wheelchair-friendly access to meet the inclusive design requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Project Architect, Paul McGrath from Ceetoo Architects commented: “The attraction of Elfin’s products is that they pack the function of a whole kitchen into a tiny but efficient space.”

The integrated pack of equipment selected for this project included a sink with mono-bloc tap and drainer, worktop, A+-rated fridge, choice of solid or ceramic hotplates, a combination oven and dry food storage – all this functionality in one, off-the-shelf unit.

The added selling point for this project was that the kitchen included a dry powder fire suppression system integrated above the hob. This system facilitated compliance with the stringent fire strategy requirements, particularly given the location of the kitchen next to the exit door.

Peter Thompson, the client Project Manager was impressed with Elfin’s approach to the project: “Elfin Kitchens worked closely with the project team throughout ensuring that the design provided exactly the right solution. Operating at this level of detail, with experts like Elfin Kitchens, is just the kind of service we need from suppliers.”

For fast and easy installation the kitchens, all pre-assembled and fully boxed to ensure complete protection during transit, were delivered to site, unpacked, manoeuvred into position and plugged in – it really is as easy as that.

Client representative for the building’s owner JMS Estates (IOM) Ltd, Anthea Sherley-Dale was delighted with the finished kitchens, she said: “Elfin Kitchens is a friendly and attentive business to deal with; any questions were answered quickly and effectively and their product is unique and well thought out – perfect for a development where space is an issue.”

Princess Beatrice House was originally designed in the early 1930s as a hospital by one of the country’s greatest architects – Sir Aston Webb – and named The Princess Beatrice Hospital. The building closed in the mid 1970s and was purchased and comprehensively refurbished for use as a hostel supporting single homeless people with support needs.

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Please Note: This Article is 8 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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