Island Kitchen

Daniel Witten-Hannah and Alex Munro’s brief to architect Gerrad Hall laid out that they wanted a house with warm simplicity. Both are fans of modern architecture and because their site wasn’t in a heritage area, they wanted to explore a unique and contemporary form for the house. Inside, the kitchen was of central importance; they wanted it to be the social heart of the home, simple and refined with close attention to detailing and honest materials.

Designers. Designer. Gerrad Hall
Kitchen Manufacturer.
Wood-Tech kitchens
Materials Benchtop: Honed concrete, stainless steel
Cabinetry: Resene Alabaster lacquer, American oak
Handles: Halliday + Baillie
Backsplash: Honed Cararra marble


Concept Design

The house was conceived of as a series of interlocking, angular forms and for the architect, the kitchen needed to be a continuation of these thematic ideas. As well as the sculptural quality that is found in both the form and the kitchen, materiality became essential in creating continuity.

Fisher & Paykel's philosophical approach to the social kitchen - a kitchen thought about in zones rather than a rigid working triangle - influenced much of the approach to how the kitchen was laid out and how it was integrated with the rest of the house.

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When organising the kitchen layout the clients took a focused approach to considering how they would use the kitchen in the future, role playing multiple steps for different tasks like making a cup of tea or preparing dinner. What resulted is an efficient grouping of zones within the kitchen.

The cooking zone along the back wall has the 90cm Built-in Oven and 90cm Gas on Glass cooktop, with a practical stainless steel benchtop which allows hot pans to be placed here, as well as ample prep space on either side of the stove.

The storage zone consists of the walk-in pantry, the integrated refrigerator and the CoolDrawer™ opposite within the island. The CoolDrawer™ is most often used like a bar fridge, but Daniel and Ally use the CoolDrawer™ differently.

Using Daniel’s knowledge of temperature optimisation, the CoolDrawer™ is set to 12°C which is the perfect temperature for many fruits and vegetables like melons, tomatoes and capsicums, as well as for bread. They use their CoolDrawer™ then, like a larder, cooler than the dry storage in the pantry and warmer than the 3ºC of the fridge.

The family eats a lot of vegetables so this handy vegetable bin is well used. It’s placement just under the bench on the island means that vegetables can be taken to the bench, prepped and chopped with minimal effort.

The washing up zone centres around the sink in the island. Here two 60cm DishDrawers™ sit side-by-side providing ample and flexible space for a busy family’s dishes. Rubbish bins fit under the sink.

A kitchen thought about in zones rather than a rigid working triangle – influenced much of the approach to how the kitchen was laid out.


Developed Design

Gerrad stresses that white kitchens, in his mind, demand the most attention to detail as any imperfections in the absence of other layers of colours and textures, become obvious. The clients were also extremely detail-conscious which has led to a design whose simplicity belies the rigour of every division and connection

The attention to detail is no more apparent than in the delineation of the drawers. Here, inset aluminium Halliday and Baillie handles add a subtle additional material to the kitchen, underscoring a robust, industrial aesthetic as well as emphasising the horizontality of the kitchen. The strong linearity of the handles hash meant that the breaklines and depths of drawers became paramount.

Oak floors and concrete elements run throughout the house, and this continues in the kitchen with a concrete benchtop and faceted oak detailing on the island. Marble on the backsplash also has this similar concrete grey tonality. Inside the pantry too, you experience the solid concrete blocks which are an expressed architectural feature on the exterior. Above, on the ceiling, perforated white panels add another subtle texture to the space.

The custom-designed acoustic sheets help to define the kitchen within the open plan space. To emphasise this even more, black cedar from the exterior cladding has been brought into the interior to create a dark frame around these punctured panels. The cabinetry was lacquered in white to continue the simplicity of the white walls throughout the house.


Detail Design

The 480mm base line of the Fisher & Paykel appliances, specifically here the 90cm oven and, on the island, the DishDrawers™ and CoolDrawer™ influenced the breaklines of the cabinetry. Other details like the sculptural island and the integrated fridge were designed to continue the clean lines of the kitchen and emphasise materiality.


Products &

  • 900mm 9 Function Pyrolytic Built-in Oven

    Fisher & Paykel ovens are designed with simply perfect cooking in mind. The 90cm Pyrolytic Built-in Oven includes a self-clean function for the ultimate in convenience, while clean lines and flat panelling in black reflective glass, with a stainless steel and mirror finish complement the style and elegance of any modern kitchen.

  • 790mm ActiveSmart™ Fridge – Bottom Freezer

    Our sophisticated fridge/freezer with the Active Smart system is where art meets science. You'll enjoy the sleek lines and effortless temperature control while your family enjoys fresher, more nutritious meals - whatever the season. Fisher & Paykel is the essence of gentle food care, with sizes to suit every family.

  • 900mm CoolDrawer™ Multi-Temperature Refrigerator

    The CoolDrawer™ has been designed to change from refrigerator to freezer at the touch of a button. It is built on the concept of distributed refrigeration, combining ActiveSmart™ Technology with a drawer-based design that can be placed anywhere in the kitchen, home or entertainment area. The CoolDrawer™ provides five temperature settings to deliver total flexibility — freezer, chill, fridge, pantry and wine modes, merging intelligence with convenience.

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