2023 Master Design Awards: Kitchen Less than $75,000 — BRONZE

by Emily Blackburn

Nichols Design Associates

Washington, D.C.

Location: Tacoma Park, Md. | Project Cost: $60,000
Square Footage: 255

This 255 square foot kitchen was an integral part of this new single family house, where the modern park design was inspired by the private forest property on the topographical land area in Tacoma Park, MD. The kitchen program created an open space and airy design using floor-to-ceiling cabinetry that emphasized the height of the ceilings on the end side. The client preferred a new kitchen to be located in the central core of first floor with the 3D visual cue area between dining and living and opening to the second floor. A 19-foot long space spanning through the rectangular area allows natural lights into the kitchen from tall windows in living and opening second floor.

Building a contemporary house for the client with hearing loss without hearing sounds as if it’s a way to say that someone is attempting to recognize the things that are being implemented for a visually accessible household that may not necessarily be required for a hearing household, as audible cues would be the main mean of communication throughout an open space between kitchen, living, dining, foyer, and other rooms in the house.

It’s vital that the family of three be able to look out from the kitchen to a number of vantage points in the two-story space. “Visual communication” is more effective, which is how the architect, who is deaf herself, puts it. That is the reasoning behind a second-floor bridge that connects to his wife’s library and art studio and overlooks the kitchen. Above the kitchen island leading into that same studio, is a rectangular Chinese “honeycomb” waffle platform that can be viewed between two levels. It is an example of “visual cues” that brings plenty of light filters in through these openings from the two skylights above the second floor. An abundance of windows, glass blocks, and a wall of gleaming light green tile in the kitchen all add to the wide-open effect.

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