Colourful bespoke cluster kitchens for City University regeneration

Colour matched to co-ordinate with City University’s striking new way-finding system, Elfin Kitchens has designed and supplied 17 ‘cluster’ kitchens for Pure City, a regeneration project for the university’s campus in the vibrant area of Islington, London. The company has also supplied 479 bespoke kitchens for the development’s studio and twin apartments as well as 23 accessible kitchens.
The new campus design significantly increases the student accommodation offer, with 805 beds arranged over a 13-storey tower and nine-storey courtyard block, providing a range of room types to suit differing requirements and budgets.

Kitchens that combine safety, style and durability at a cost-effective price
Maximising space was critical for this project and Elfin worked closely with project architect TP Bennett to do just that. TP Bennett Director Janet Johnson explained: “Looking to fit the kitchens within a 1500mm linear length, we had worked with Elfin on a similar previous development to design a suitable kitchen configuration for which Elfin had provided a prototype. These kitchens, which combined safety, style and durability at a cost-effective price, were a success; the configuration was proven to work and the product had proven its durability. For the City University project however, we have introduced colour.”

Colour-matched cluster kitchens
For the cluster kitchens, which provide preparation and cooking facilities for up to 16 students communally, Elfin has colour-matched the units to three colours – aqua, green and purple – specified by TP Bennett’s interior designer using the RAL system. The kitchens were colour-coded to integrate with the colour-coded way-finding system that has been introduced; making it easier for students and visitors to identify which section they are in.

The bespoke kitchens in the studios and two-bed apartments are black and have been installed against an inspirational bright yellow splashback and wall scheme; the black also teamed with the furniture in the rooms to create a seamless design style.

Fire suppression system included
For the 65 twin-bed apartments, the kitchens are also fitted with a fire suppression system, which links into the main fire alarm system, as they are located off the lobby area where access is limited. All of the kitchen units, however, are manufactured from a non-combustible steel core, which would withstand attack from fire.

With a high ratio of accessible rooms for this project, Elfin worked alongside the architect to provide wheelchair-friendly access and meet the inclusive design requirements of the Equality Act 2010. Half of the kitchens were supplied from day one and half of the rooms have been prepared for adaptation in the future.

Robust and prebuilt, these powder-coated mini kitchens, with matching wall cupboards, all feature stainless steel door and drawer furniture and slim, foam filled door and drawer fronts. Facilities include a combination oven, two specialist hotplates, an ‘A rated’ fridge and smart stainless steel sink complete with a monobloc mixer tap and, in this instance, recycling bins have also been included.

Furthermore, Elfin worked in conjunction with main contractor Mace to ensure the logistics worked smoothly from a delivery perspective. Simon Hughes, Senior Construction Manager at Mace said: “The kitchens arrive in two separate parts, to ensure easy distribution. The height of the complete kitchen is 2100mm which clashes with the height of the door frames, so Elfin provided a solution which offered the base units separate to the wall units, resulting in a sensible and practical logistic solution.”

TP Bennett’s Janet Johnson reinforced this commitment to service adding: “Elfin is a professional team. They want to get the product exactly right for you and they are always available to attend site at the drop of a hat.”

The City University Campus comprised three run-down buildings that did little to enhance the image of the university and attract future students. The overall regeneration of the campus includes the redevelopment of the existing halls of residence, a new teaching block for City University and the creation of an enhanced sports facility.