Kitchen sink design – Social art in progress – Part 1

open kitchen sink design – playing around with the design

In September 2019, we decided to add a kitchen sink to the open kitchen project in the art camp. After building different fireplaces and a rocketstove, we wanted to add an option to clean dishes nearby, instead of having to move them back and forth between the Casa del Dragon and the garden.

A key element of the project was to re-use waste water from the dishwashing process to water plants in the lower art camp garden area, especially the fruit trees.

The wise creator knows that he is only a facilitator, using what is donated to him by others.

Juan Petry

Together with Rebekka, we played around with potential shapes of the sink area around an old almond tree. We talked a lot about the workflows and processes of serving food, collecting dirty dishes, cleaning and storing them for another lunch or dinner session.

Besides ergonomic and logistic issues, we focused on the social aspects of cleaning dishes. We wanted it to be possible for the dishwashing station to be used by several people at once, allowing for small teams to work together. We also wanted the people washing dishes to be able to communicate with others nearby.

 open kitchen sink design - foundation and ibc tank placement
open kitchen sink design – foundation and ibc tank placement

Once we agreed on a suitable design for the kitchen sink area, we started to build the foundation of the sink, the main part of the construction. When we decided on the location of the foundation, we considered that the nearby dry stone wall would need to be repaired in the future, respected the roots of the almond tree and allowed for enough working space for the dish washing team.

For the foundation, we used small natural stones. A refurbished ibc-conformed pallet was placed on top of cement stones. This construction supports the weight of the water tank and the elevation protects the pallet wood from termites.

open kitchen sink design - Rebekka as a new bricklayer in action
open kitchen sink design – Rebekka as a new bricklayer in action

Wherever possible, we used old construction materials. Iron pieces were used to increase the stability of the wall, holding nearly 600 kg of weight (0.6 cubic meter of waste water) in form.

 open kitchen sink design - basement and final position of the sink
open kitchen sink design – base and final position of the sink

Even the sink is a refurbished piece that was donated by a friend (thanks to Angie!). To clean and fertilize the waste water, plants will be placed in the open area of the abc tank.

open kitchen sink design - worktable
open kitchen sink design – worktable

After finishing the raw structure of the sink, we added a worktable. In reference to the design of the open kitchen, we repeated a circular cutout between to pillars.

open kitchen sink design - service hatch for dishes
open kitchen sink design – service hatch for dishes

On one side, we added a space to collect dirty dishes. On the other side, we placed a service hatch for clean dishes. In the foundation, we placed a hole for better ventilation. It will be covered by a fine net to protect the inside from little animals.

open kitchen sink design - re-use of pallet wood
open kitchen sink design – re-use of pallet wood

The construction will also protect the stored items from the sun. The service hatch is designed to cover around 60 dishes and protect them from rain and dust.

open kitchen sink design - organic shape
open kitchen sink design – organic shape

Wherever we established a construction in a certain height we find glases and bottles lateron. A lot of visitors are likely to put used stuff wherever they stay. To work a bit against this habit we created a organic shape around the sink table. Later it will be also an invitation for next mosaic workshops to find another place to play with colors.

open kitchen sink design - natural fridge and storage under the worktable
open kitchen sink design – natural fridge and storage under the worktable

Nearly 300 bottles where used to create the circular wall, giving the worktable a solid foundation. In the center, we constructed a natural fridge, using a

open kitchen sink design - worktable platform
open kitchen sink design – worktable platform

We raised the outer arch of the circular shape and placed a piece of wood on the inner arch to create a frame for a 6 cm thick concrete platform. Small recycled iron pieces were added to the concrete, to increase the stability of the structure.

open kitchen sink design - plastering around the bottles
open kitchen sink design – plastering around the bottles

Next, we added plaster around the bottles and experimented with a new mix (6 soil : 1 cement : 1 lime). The challenge was to use the right scree to prepare the best mixture.

This kitchen sink is a piece of social art, supported and done by many people. One of the biggest contributors was for sure Rebekka. But also people like Angie from Benicarlo and David from Cervera donated materials to this structure. Many people collected bottles. Guests of the Casa del Dragon, like Amanda and Nina, prepared dinners for the hungry bricklayers. Others carried construction materials to the location. We have to honor all these people helping us to make this possible. Special thanks to Nina, Fron├žois, Sacha, Youri and Ivan.