What is the Golden Triangle ?

Are you’re in the market for a new kitchen and have been researching different aspects of kitchen design? Have you been looking at different layouts suitable for your space available? Or generally reading magazine articles to do with kitchen design? If so then it’s more than likely that you’ve come across the term, “The Golden Triangle”. But what does it mean?

A lot is mentioned about the Golden Triangle but in simple terms, it is the principle of positioning the most-used equipment and appliances in a kitchen close to each other to allow the user to work effectively whilst cooking. Interior designers and architects have used the principle for years to create the perfect kitchen layout. For the majority of households, the three objects used most in the kitchen are the sink, the oven and the fridge.

If you draw an imaginary line between these three objects, it should make up what is known as the “working” triangle. When these objects are close to each other in a triangular layout, the theory is that the kitchen is more efficient to use by cutting out wasted steps and reducing foot traffic so that the cook isn’t interrupted or interfered with. It isn’t always possible to use this theory in some layouts, but efficiency can still be had by the correct positioning of these items.

History of the Golden Triangle

The principle of the Golden Triangle dates back to the 1940s and started with the University of Illinois’ School of Architecture in order to improve the efficiency of a kitchen used by one person. The following guidelines set out the general idea:

  • Each side of the triangle should be between 1.2 – 2.7 metres long
  • When the three sides of the triangle are added together, they should equal between 4 – 8 metres
  • There shouldn’t be any major traffic through the middle of the triangle
  • Storage cupboards should not block any side of the triangle by more than 30cm.

Once the Golden Triangle is in place, the other parts of the design should be included; for example positioning the dishwasher next to the sink and placing bins near to where food is prepared. Storage space is important in a kitchen but so is the location where certain things are stored. Pots and pans should be close to the oven, utensils should be close to the preparation area, herbs and spices should be close to the hob and crockery should be close to the dining area.

The Golden Triangle and your lifestyle…

There are argument for and against using the Golden Triangle, but the most important point is that your lifestyle should determine the functionality of your kitchen, not the other way around. In many households today, two or more people share cooking responsibilities and the kitchen has become so much more than just a room where food is prepared. Although the Golden Triangle can be a useful tool, it shouldn’t stop you “thinking outside the box” when designing a kitchen to fit your way of life.

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