In 1944, the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois was created with a view to improving the state of the art in home building. oringinally this was done with an emphasis on standardization with the aim of cost reduction. It was here that the formalised concept of the kitchen work triangle was first reported - the kitchen work triangle being storage, preparation, and cooking.

The kitchen work triangle concept is that places for these functions should be arranged in the kitchen design in such a way that work at one spot does not interfere with the work at another place. The distance between these three places should not be unnecessarily large, and no obstacles should be in the way. The natural arrangement for the most effective implentation of this idea is the triangle - with the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove being at a vertex of each point.

This observation led to a few common forms, which commonly characterized the arrangement of the kitchen cabinets, the sink, the stove, and the refrigerator:

Single File
A single file kitchen has the arrangement all of these features along one wall. in this case the work triangle degenerates to a line. This is defintely not optimal, but sometimes the only solution if space is severely restricted.

Double File
The double file kitchen (also known as galley kitchen or corridor kitchen) has two rows of cabinets at opposing walls. One wall containing the stove and the sink, the other wall containing the refrigerator. This is the

classical work kitchen design.

The L Kitchen
In the L-kitchen, the cabinets actually occupy two adjacent walls. The work triangle is preserved here, and there might be space for an additional table at a third wall perhaps, provided it doesn't intersect the work triangle.

U Kitchen
A U-kitchen has cabinets along three walls. Typically a U Kitchen has the sink at the base of the "U". This is a also a typical work kitchen, unless the two other cabinet rows are so short as to place a table at the other fourth wall.

Block Kitchen
The block kitchen is a much more recent development, and is typically found in open kitchens. In the block kitchen, both the stove and the sink (or just the stove) or are placed where an L or U kitchen would otherwise have a table, in a freestanding "island" that separated from the other cabinets. In a closed room though, this doesn't make much sense, however in an open kitchen, this makes the stove accessible from all sides in such a way that two people can actually cook together. The block kitchen design allows for contact with guests or the rest of the family because the cook doesn't face the wall anymore.

Modern Design
Modern kitchens often have enough informal space so that people can eat in it without having to use a formal dining area. These areas are often called breakfast bars especially if the space is integrated into a kitchen counter.

See also our more in depth tips on kitchen remodeling. The same rules apply for building and renovation and hiring contractors if you are not a handy kind of person who is doing their own kitchen improvement. This article is based on an article from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License .

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