February 7, 2005 The circular kitchen is a new approach to kitchen design based on the changing needs of apartment dwellers and modern lifestyle. After centuries of conventional kitchen design, the self-contained circular kitchen challenges many of the notions of a normal kitchen, treating it more as an appliance than a dedicated, inflexible room. It can be easily added or relocated to any space, be it apartment, office, holiday home or factory and comes complete with all the facilities and storage space of a conventional kitchen. There are no conventional cupboard doors, so access to the kitchen’s various components is by rotating the central unit through 180 degrees, or the top unit which rotates through 360 degrees.
What's more, it's completely lockable via the slatted sliding door and with such a small footprint (1.8 square metres), it is suitable for spaces that conventional kitchens are not. The circular kitchen consists of an outer circular wall with fixed rear wall and a sliding slatted, lockable doors.
The inner core rotates 180 degrees and is equipped with all the conveniences of a conventional kitchen, including a stainless steel sink with chrome single lever mixer, a waste bin and drawers. The upper circular shelf rotates through 360 degrees to house crockery, glasses, etc. Inside it has its own lighting, electrical sockets, electronics, water and waste disposal.
By utilising the volume of the circular kitchen fully, it has been possible to offer a storage capacity equivalent to that of a large conventional kitchen. "It contains the equivalent of 12 cupboards from a conventional kitchen", says designer Alfred Averbeck.
There's also the facility to specify the Circular Kitchen with all the appliances necessary - refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, fully integrated coffee machine, ceramic cook top with 2 or 4 cook zones, a built-in microwave/oven-combination and a Range hood.
As with any kitchen fit-out, there's an infinite choice of decor, colours, fittings, benchtop finishes and depending on the selection of equipment the Circular Kitchen will cost between EUR5,000 and 12,000 (US$6500 to US$15,000).
The concept of the circular kitchen came to master joiner and furniture designer Alfred Averbeck whilst practicing his trade in Germany during the mid-nineties.
Averbeck was witnessing the rapid evolution of apartment dwelling, and the quite different needs of a new generation of professionals who wanted more space for living and less of their apartment's space devoted to the traditional kitchen.
"I asked myself, why should a single person, whose career requires travel and long hours devote so much of their small apartment to a kitchen," said Averbeck.
"From what I was seeing, there was a growing segment of the population who were career focussed. These people don't cook at home much, are often interstate or overseas, and they are using 10-15 square metres of a small apartment at relatively high cost, when they would rather have more space for a small office or a bigger living area." So Averbeck began work on designing a very compact kitchen using the latest technology to reduce the size, and enable the kitchen to be moved and relocated easily, and did not need to have a dedicated room, or indeed, even be anchored to a wall.
The concept of an independent unit came early and many designs followed as the idea of a decorative unit that could be closed off and locked evolved.
"The advantages of the rotating central core offered many advantages, said Averbeck. "It meant that the complete work area could be reached from a single position and the design is very user friendly."
"Deep cupboards and annoying doors are things of the past. All the appliances and kitchen contents are clearly visible and can be reached without moving."
"Thought the price for the circular kitchen is in the middle to top range of kitchens, there are many savings that make it a cost-efficient exercise," said Averbeck. "Savings for both the buyer and the seller too."
"The merchant does not need to do nearly as much cost intensive work such as planning, custom design and fitting, and installation is reduced to a minimum or isn't necessary at all."
"For the owner, the cost intensive work such as tiling, installation and electrical work are all reduced too."
In 1999 Averbeck migrated to New Zealand with his family and founded CC-Concepts (Clever Compact Concepts) to commercialise the circular kitchen in 2001. Beyond this initial product, the company will develop and market other innovative, compact concepts from the commercial and private living and interior sector.
The company now licenses the Circular Kitchen to manufacturers in Germany and is seeking to develop international markets by licensing his patented technology to manufacturers in other countries.
Enquiries should be directed to the company's web site.