The Kitchen at Chewton Glen in Hampshire is a purpose-built cookery school that provides a range of classes overseen by TV chef and alumni James Martin. Designed by Terence O’Rourke in collaboration with The Big Kitchen Company, The Kitchen forms part of an award-winning, five-star, country house hotel, and is intended to reflect the grandeur and style of the establishment. Forming a key component of the scheme is Neolith®, a premium sintered stone by TheSize.
With the worktops coming into regular contact with sharp knives, it was imperative that the surfaces were scratch-resistant. Furthermore, with each island containing a hob and open shelving areas for hot pans, the surfaces also had to be able to withstand high temperatures.
Neolith slabs in Basalt Grey Silk were specified for the worktops, upstands, splashbacks, shelving areas and cabinetry. The availability of 12mm Neolith slabs in large formats, including 3.2×1.6 metres, was a decisive factor in the material choice.
The larger slabs provided the aesthetic advantage of minimising the number of visible joints, which contributed to a more seamless and streamlined design.”
“With two students per island, the large slabs provided sufficient width to fit in all the required appliances, while leaving an appropriate sized work space”, comments Sam Hughes, senior designer at The Big Kitchen Company. “The larger slabs also provided the aesthetic advantage of minimising the number of visible joints, which contributed to a more seamless and streamlined design.” Added to this, TheSize was able to make bespoke cuts in the12mm thick slabs for the integration of sinks, hobs and shelving areas.
The project team, which included the managing director at Chewton Glen, selected a grey-coloured stone as a means of creating a contemporary aesthetic in keeping with both commercial and residential kitchens. The tone is also able to complement both bright and neutral colour schemes.
Hughes continues, “while decorative options and the specification of a sustainable product played a significant factor in the surfacing selected, the material also had to meet the practical demands of a project. In this instance, Neolith’s ability to withstand high temperatures combined with its resistance to stains, cuts and marks, and TheSize’s ability to provide bespoke sizing options, made it ideal for a commercial cooking environment.”
The cookery school opened its doors in March 2017.
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