One of six striking Hawksmoor churches in London, St George in the East needed a new kitchen that could match the church’s outer beauty.
The domestic-type kitchen on site dated back to the mid-20th century, potentially even to St George’s post-war refurbishment in 1964, when a modern interior was constructed to replace the original fittings that were completely destroyed during the Blitz.
Interesting history aside, the kitchen was looking decidedly more ‘dated’ than ‘retro’ and could no longer cope with the church’s busy schedule. As such, Fiona Lawrence and the rest of the committee at St George in the East drafted in Steelplan Kitchens to bring the space up to date.
The kitchen had to be easy to use but robust enough to hold up under frequent wear and tear. As extending the building was not an option, it also had to be confined to the existing kitchen space.
"Everyone at the Church was getting sick of the ratty kitchen we had," says Fiona, "and it really was long overdue for a refurbishment. We hold various events and initiatives from the kitchen and it just couldn’t cope with the wear and tear any longer." The committee started to shop around for options that had the robust nature of a steel kitchen without the clinical, institutional feel of a fully commercial model. They discovered Steelplan Kitchens semi-commercial option, and decided to go ahead with their quote. "Although it wasn’t as cheap as a domestic kitchen," explains Fiona, "it was well worth the expense. Not only is very hard wearing, but it's flexible: as it isn't fully 'built-in' like a timber kitchen, it can be moved around or even removed and refitted if we needed to renovate in the future."
Storage: Steelplan powder coated steel base and wall units in Horizon blue. Integrated under-counter fridge and freezer.
Food prep: Made to measure stainless steel worktops, with a mix of stainless steel and easy to clean UPVC splash backs above all worktops. A work table in front of the window and radiator was also added to give more food preparation space.
Wet area: A sink and drainer seamlessly welded into the stainless steel worktops, with a new under counter water boiler to allow for instant hot water straight from the tap.
Dishwasher: A relatively new free-standing dishwasher was already on site, and accommodated into the kitchen plan
Cooking: Space was allocated for two under-counter ovens, an electric hotplate hob and extractor canopies, bought separately.
Fiona, the committee and the congregation were delighted with the result. "It's so easy to clean and sturdy," says Fiona. "Although we don't hire the kitchen out to visitors, it will be put through its paces by the team here. It's particularly great for our community project, Meals on Heels, and our monthly open table event that we host for the congregation and users of our food bank."
The inherent strength of metal and a combination of the benefits listed on this page mean that a steel Kitchen will far exceed the life expectancy of a standard wooden carcass kitchens in semi-commercial environments.
The polyester powder coated steel is impervious to water. No more swollen chipboard or rotting MDF.
The metal is fire resistant and the powder coat finish formulated so that no toxic fumes are emitted in the case of fire.
Unlike wooden/chipboard cabinets the Steelplan Kitchen carcass does not contain any material that may sustain, harbour or encourage insects or bacteria.
The powder coated finish means that the units can be kept to an extremely high level of cleanliness and hygiene at all times. Essential when used in health locations.
It looks great! The hidden steel backbone is dressed up with a choice of doors to produce whatever look and feel you want.