Wheelchair Accessible at #MoleHill: The Cooking & Storage Centre

molehill_kitchenrangewall.jpg

While I'm out with family in Manitoba, progress continues over at our Mole Hill project. True to fashion, small space planning for a wheelchair accessible client doesn't stop and continues through the construction process. The cooking and storage centre is no exception. Just a few weeks ago we discovered that the planned location for the vent-hood was not going to happen because there is this huge 6" cast-iron pipe directly behind where I planned to exhaust. Normally, in a single-family home, this wouldn't be so much of a concern, but with a strata condominium we never know what we will find in the walls. Obviously this project is no exception.

molehill_kitchenrangewall
molehill_kitchenrangewall

After we adjusted the kitchen slightly, I was able to keep the plan with a few small modifications to the cabinetry and layout. I always say that design is not about the visual, it's about negotiation and it's unfortunate that we lost the chimney-style vent-hood but I think the overall function will work out better for this client (less dusting in areas they can not reach.)

The wall-ovens were carefully planned and measured against the physical requirements of the client. With the middle of the wall oven being just at 44", it allows the oven door to pull open so that the client can physically reach the rack of the oven with an oven mitt. The choice of a 24" wide oven instead of a 30" wide oven was both for space planning and for point-of-use, volume, and frequency of baking. The landing zones to the left and the right provide quick placement of hot items to prevent scalding and ease the functional use.

The microwave was placed BELOW the wall oven because it would be out of the reach of the client if it were to be placed above. This way they can reach down and up, rather than up and down with possible spills. My only complaint about microwaves is that they STILL only swing on the left and not on the right. I know a drawer microwave solution may first appear to be a better option, but with a wheelchair in the way, range of reach highly considered, and then the location of the landing zones, a drawer would actually be a hinderance.

You'll note that there is the crazy/weird run of cabinets to the right of the wall-ovens. The client loves to craft and with a adequately placed receptacle in combination with the cabinets 9" above the floor (for the foot rests of the chair) I'm sure we will see hand-made Christmas cards this year.

To visualize the colours, the purple-naturalistic wallpaper will appear on the inset of the dining room, flanked with hits of purple paint, and the base cabinets will be a blue/grey with wall cabinets in a sharp white. Counter surfaces are, of course, Cambria Bellingham. Here's the material board as a reminder:

Material Board - Baker
Material Board - Baker

Over to the progress shots:

The front entry has been widened, with yet another structural/mechanical surprise behind the walls. Lighting switches needed to be relocated.
The front entry has been widened, with yet another structural/mechanical surprise behind the walls. Lighting switches needed to be relocated.
That glorious sink wall with all the bells and whistles - obviously yet to be added, but removing the partition will mean NO CORNERS!
That glorious sink wall with all the bells and whistles - obviously yet to be added, but removing the partition will mean NO CORNERS!
The amazing roll-in shower/wet room. That drain (and the toilet) wasn't moved a single inch because of the concrete slab and space planning the bathroom with the existing was challenging but it will work out brilliantly for the client.
The amazing roll-in shower/wet room. That drain (and the toilet) wasn't moved a single inch because of the concrete slab and space planning the bathroom with the existing was challenging but it will work out brilliantly for the client.