Monday, June 6, 2011

WIP - False Creek Remodel - Part 2

With demolition at the False Creek Remodel project under way, I thought I'd use the Sketchup model I created of the suite to illustrate what we're going to be doing.  Sketchup is one of the most powerful design tools I use.  It gives me the ability to model things before they are built which helps the client (and me!) clearly understand the design.

The new design takes 3 separate spaces and combines them into one.  The breakfast room in the previous design wasn't being fully utilized and the bigger kitchen was desperately needed (The framing plan was revealed in the previous post if you're interested).  Since this is a concrete building I expected lots of plumbing stacks and electrical conduit to be hidden in the walls.  Some pre-design exploration by the customer revealed much of what we needed to know, and the design was modified to accommodate these obstacles.  Of course other challenges will be found along the way, but knowing the big ones up front allows me to save the client money and keep the job on schedule.


This is the wall from the previous post where we located the PEX.  As you can see from the Sketchup model, that wall is being removed, so relocating the PEX is somewhat essential.  To the left of the cabinetry there is an extended closet that contains the laundry (the reason for the plumbing in that wall) and linen storage.  Cabinetry along this wall features a small organization centre (phone, notes, etc.) that also contains a recycling bin pull-out.  Next is a Miele Wall Oven & Speed Oven combination, a pull-out pantry and a Miele Fridge.

You may also have noticed there is a wall on the left of the oven cabinet.  The wall is part of a "shroud" that surrounds this section of cabinetry.  This "shroud" was created partly for design reasons and partly out of necessity (read on!).


The photo above shows the original sink location.  In the almost 20 years I've been designing kitchens, the sink, or more specifically relocating the sink has caused me more grief than any other area of the kitchen.  Well, maybe ventilation has a place in there as well ... but more on that later.

In the BEFORE shot, you'll notice a sink centred beneath a pass-through.  Water has to drain somewhere, so I know there's a drain-stack (also know as a "vent-stack") in the vicinity.  With the design I had created I was praying it wasn't to the right.  Fortunately the stack was on the left of the opening, but unfortunately it was about 18" out from the wall.  If this were a single family residence we could explore relocating this stack, but since we're in a condo and a concrete one at that, moving the stack is not something we want to explore.

This is where the "shroud" comes in.  Because I knew the stack couldn't be relocated I knew I had to design around it.  I could have simply let a shallow wall there an built cabinetry around it.  This is what I refer to as "accidental" design ... as in "Oooops, we didn't plan for this so let's do the best we can."  It looks sloppy.  However, by creating a shroud around the wall oven and fridge I've created a design element that just happens to also contain the stack.  The difference is subtle, but makes a profound difference in the final design.


The BEFORE photo shows the entrance into the underutilized breakfast room.  The new design uses this area for the bulk of the kitchen work area.  The sink and cooktop are here, as is a new vent hood and eating bar.  Notice also the wine storage which serves double duty as bar supports.

The ventilation is going to present some challenges primarily because of  (I know this is getting redundant) the concrete construction.  We're going to have to build a new drop ceiling to hide the duct and make it look like part of the existing construction.  Deliberate design remember?

The photo on the left shows some of the pre-reno exploration the customer and I did to see what was really in the drops.  This way we were able to see which ones could be removed (none).  While I'm not a big fan of them, in this case the drop ceilings will work in our favour. With the new design we've lost a number of walls, and with them, places to run wiring and plumbing.  The drop ceilings will become the new conduits through which our services will be distributed throughout the kitchen.

Next up:  Framing, and Rough-Ins

WIP: False Creek Remodel is an actual remodel project of mine that I'm blogging in real time.  To see all the entries in this series just click the FOLLOW ME buttons at the top right of this page.  If there's any part of the project you're interested in, leave me a note in the comments section.


Kelly said...

Arne, nice job.

What's the program you used for the floor plan - it's very slick!

Arne Salvesen said...

It's called LayOut and it comes with the Pro version of Sketchup. LayOut links with the Sketchup model so any changes you make in the model are updated in the LayOut drawings. The nice thing about LayOut is you can do any sort of information in it: plans, perspectives, schedules, etc. It has a bit of a learning curve, but if I can do it, anyone can

Baroco said...

I came across your blog from Sketch This! Nice Blog. I like your floor plan as well. Did you just draw the plan or using the sketchup model from the warehouse? I've started to a new job as salesperson/designer recently. I've try to use skethup to draw the plan for my client, but the plan didn't look clean and sharp like yours. It has lots of lines from the top view, so that even more confused for the client. I would love to know how you do it. Thank you!

Arne Salvesen said...


Thanks for dropping by!

The plans and elevations I do are all from scratch. Our firm builds its own cabinetry, so the only models in the 3D Warehouse I could use would be those I make.

Sketchup is great for making models, but to get the plans I make, you really need the Pro version (about $500 last I checked) which includes LayOut. LayOut is the programme I use to create the nice plans and elevations.

Both Eric (Sketch This) & I can help you out with questions. The best way to figure it all out is to read online forums and just play with the programme. At least that's how I did it.

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