teak wrote:why the kitchen could not possibly be the heart of the "Irish home" and why such a suggestion deserves to be scoffed at...
Because the heart of the home -- as I appreciate it at any rate -- is that area where people relax, talk, watch TV together, read, listen to music.
Assigning this area to the same area where food is being prepared (noise, smell, space / circulation compatibility issues to name but 3) is just a way to make the life for the owners harder and (when receiving visitors) more embarrassing.
why an "architect" who has an "appetite for exploring new horizons" begins with the compartmentalised planning of "kitchen", "lounge" and "sitting room"?
I think -- as clearly delineated areas, not necessarily permanently walled spaces -- this is a quite acceptable place for a progressive architect to start.
If you don't wall off your separate kitchen, lounge and sitting room then how do you intend to overcome your perceived problems with the kitchen as the hearth, i.e. noise, smell and embarassment?
Why are you embarassed to bring someone into your kitchen?
What the hell do you do in there, skin the neighbourhood cats?
In many Irish homes, at least in the countryside anyway, it is more traditional to enter a home through the back door and directly into the kitchen than it would be to formally approach the front door, proceed to the 'living room' or parlour and then wait on your host to entertain you there.
In fact, how many homes have you ever visited where you have not ended up in the kitchen at some point?
Why is it, do you think, that at most parties the formal, tidy and 'comfortable' living room remains empty while the entire congregation wedges itself into the kitchen, no matter how poky or embarassing that kitchen is?
How many engaging conversations have you had while sitting around a television in a living room, as opposed to sitting at the kitchen table conversing over a tea or coffee?
How well does dinner conversation hold up when that dinner is eaten from one's lap in front of a television, rather than at a dinner table?
If you visited your friend's house for dinner, would you sit in the living room watching television and shouting through a wall at him while he prepared the meal in the kitchen, or would you go into the kitchen, offer to give a hand with the preparation and converse informally while you do so?
I fear that you have grossly underestimated the importance of the kitchen teak, and your stubborness won't allow you to admit otherwise.
The kitchen has a unique ability to draw people together, to induce conversation and to make people feel welcome in a home. To overlook this, as a 'professional architect', could be viewed as malpractice, or even a crime.