St Mary’s & St John’s School

Run down kitchen re-imagined for newly refurbished school

Downage Kitchen

Having visited the school before its closure for refurbishment and expansion, this project has been a remarkable journey from conception through to completion, not just for the kitchen but for the whole school. We were tasked to see beyond the existing operation and imagine the possibilities for a new kitchen and servery capable of delivering the best possible service to a large number of users.

The kitchen area was extended to make space for a new dedicated wash-up area and enlarged servery and the whole area was designed with new partitions to create an office, COSHH store, new kitchen entrance, an alcove for the walk-in cold rooms, a servery and a wash-up area. Extending the kitchen enabled us to provide a well-equipped centre island cooking area incorporating combination ovens, fryer, oven range as well as the versatile Frima Vario cooking centre with dual pans all providing the potential for a hugely diverse menu.

This area was then surrounded with preparation sinks and tabling exactly where it was needed. The changing facilities, WC and dry goods store were refurbished in their existing locations and the new walk-in chiller and freezer were positioned opposite to ensure deliveries could be dealt with swiftly without interfering with the rest of the kitchen. Although the servery area was not as large as we would have liked, we designed a mirrored service to maximise the throughput of customers at peak times. The wash-up area consisted of a rack dishwasher system and a utensil washer to reduce the labour required for washing pots and pans together with a general purpose sink with a large enough bowl to accept 1/1 gastronorm containers. The dishwasher and utensil washer both had exhaust air recovery modules added to minimise heat and moisture within this area.

The ventilation system was designed to cope with a busy kitchen, not only extracting exhaust air from the canopy above the cooking equipment, but also to ensure enough air changes within the wash-up area as well as supplying fresh tempered air into both areas of the kitchen. To minimise structural works to the existing roof the new ventilation system was designed to use existing roof openings together with a new opening within the new timber roof section. Overall we were very pleased with the outcome of the project; the kitchen was produced to a high standard and will provide an excellent platform to deliver a fantastic catering service to the school.