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Hougang Central HDB Kitchen

Kitchen Work Triangle

The Principle of Designing Kitchens

Are you about to renovate your small kitchen? You want a space that allows you to move freely from one point of your kitchen to the next, right? Then what you need to achieve is the kitchen work triangle.

If you live in a moderate-sized house or apartment, the layout of the work triangle could help you create the space you desire. So what is a kitchen triangle and how does it help you create a well-designed kitchen that’s practical?

Take a look at this short but handy guide on the kitchen triangle and the function of the layout.

What is Kitchen Work Triangle?

A kitchen triangle, also known as the golden triangle, is a concept used to determine the architectural layout of a kitchen. It’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

The layout is based on the belief that the three main working areas of a kitchen—the sink, stove and refrigerator—should form a triangle namely. This provides an efficient kitchen workspace with clear traffic lanes.

Below is a great example of work triangle with island in the kitchen.

Why is the Kitchen Work Triangle Important?

The kitchen work triangle is designed to make it easier for cooks to reach their cooking station, sink and refrigerator. The layout provides enough space so a cook can move around freely especially in confined environments or kitchens with lots of foot traffic.

A work triangle creates a flow that allows a cook to move quickly from one station to the next. This design is particularly important for restaurant kitchens as there’s a lot of traffic in these environments.

It’s a beneficial layout for professional chefs that need to work quickly on time-sensitive culinary projects.

Rules to Follow When Designing a Kitchen Work Triangle

There are several rules to consider such as kitchen work dimensions. The rules help maximize the flow of the kitchen without compromising the aesthetics and functionality of the design.

But the rules are subjective and you don’t necessarily have to abide by them exactly. They are simply guidelines to help you create an effective golden triangle. If you’d like to stick to the rules follow these guidelines when designing your area:

  • The sum of the triangle shouldn’t exceed 26ft. The most common measurements of the triangle are between 13ft and 25ft.
  • Each leg of the triangle must measure between 4ft and 9ft. No leg should be less than 4ft otherwise space will be too confined.
  • A triangle can go through an island or table but it mustn’t exceed 12 inches. This rule allows ample space to move within the lanes the island or table has created.
  • There should be no traffic patterns cutting through the triangle.
  • You are allowed to create an additional triangle if there’s an extra sink in the area.
  • Working aisles should always be between 42″ and 48″ especially if there are multiple cooks working in an area.

The work triangle was developed in the 1940s when kitchens were smaller with fewer cooks and less functional facilities such as islands. In modern homes, kitchens are larger with more efficient areas for multiple cooks to work in.

Modern kitchens are not exclusively designed around the golden triangle but architects have adopted a new design called the kitchen work zone.

What is a Kitchen Work Triangle Zone?

As mentioned before modern kitchens are larger so in order to accommodate more cooks the area can be split into different functional working zones such as:

  • Cleaning zone: This is the area where all cleaning detergents and kits are kept to maintain the hygiene of the kitchen.
  • Consumables: The area in which to keep edibles such as cans of food, rice, cereals and pasta. This zone can be in the form of a pantry or a cupboard where you keep all your food items.
  • Cutlery and dishes: A drawer or cabinet that contains all your dinner plates, bowls & cutlery.
  • Cooking area: Some kitchens have built-in ovens and microwaves. There should be counters around these areas to place hot pots of food.
  • Counters for dishing food: Some home owners need space to place bowls and plates to dish food. This zone can be in the form of a kitchen island.
  • Additional zones: Bars and dining areas can be considered as extra kitchen zones.

Kitchen Work Triangle Do’s and Don’ts

Kitchen Triangle Don’ts

  1. An example of a poorly designed kitchen triangle is not creating enough space to move in traffic lanes. Narrow lanes can restrict your movement especially when there are multiple cooks working in the kitchen.
  2. A kitchen should have ample space to move so always design a space that accommodates more than one person.
  3. Another kitchen triangle mistake is inadequate counter space. There should always be counters that allow you to place hot pots or plates and bowls for dishing food.

Kitchen Triangle Dos

  • A well-designed kitchen has lots of storage space for food, cooking utensils, dishes and cutlery. The layout should allow you to flow between these zones easily so you can cook your meals and perform other kitchen duties with ease.

Kitchen Work Triangle Layouts

To give you an idea of what a kitchen triangle looks like, view the image below. The work triangle layout shows you the functionality it creates in different shaped kitchens.

Kitchen Work Triangle Layouts

Final Thoughts

So if you want to maximize the flow of your kitchen use the work triangle layout. The layout will reduce restrictions in the kitchen so you’re able to glide from one zone to the next easily.

To make your kitchen a breeze to work in, consider adding a kitchen island with cabinets on each side. Place everything you need inside the cabinets such as bowls, pots or even cooking spices and baking ingredients. This will allow you to go from one point of the triangle to your island effortlessly whenever you need to grab something for the dish you’re working on.

Remember you can create more than one triangle which would be ideal for bigger kitchens with more working zones. Use the work triangle when building or renovating so you can add value to your kitchen and enjoy cooking more than ever.

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