Is there a need for new kitchen design? Assessing the adaptative capacity of space to enable circularity in multiresidential buildings
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2022

This paper aims to contribute to the development of spatial criteria for adaptive capacity, which is identified as one important factor for the transition towards more circular housing design. The paper focuses on the kitchen, as an important function of the home which is connected to large resource flows and is exposed to frequent renovations and replacements. This paper identifies spatial characteristics of the kitchen and evaluates their potential to accommodate circular solutions focusing on adaptive capacity. As a first step, previous literature on the spatial characteristics of kitchens and indicators that support adaptability is reviewed. These are then used to develop an analytical framework to assess the adaptive capacity and circularity potential of 3624 kitchens in contemporary Swedish apartments. A qualitative approach in combination with quantitative methods is employed to analyse the selected sample. The main contributions of this paper include its spatial analytical framework, its descriptive presentation of contemporary kitchen and apartment designs, and its adaptive capacity assessment of the studied kitchens. The results point out that although the over-capacity of the floor area of kitchens and apartments can have significance for adaptability, it is not the only determinative spatial characteristics. The windows' location and distribution, the number of door openings and traffic zones, the shafts’ location and accessibility from multiple rooms, the room typology and the kitchen typology can improve the adaptive capacity and circularity potential of kitchens and dwellings. The findings show that in contemporary floorplans advantageous design solutions connected to the identified spatial characteristics are not applied in a systematic way. Further research is necessary to define the exact measures of the individual spatial characteristics and their combined application in multiresidential floorplan design.

Adaptive capacity

Circular design


Spatial criteria

Kitchen design

Apartment floorplans


Anita Ollár

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Arkitekturens teori och metod

Kaj Granath

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Byggnadsdesign

Paula Femenias

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Byggnadsdesign

Ulrike Rahe

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Arkitekturens teori och metod

Frontiers of Architectural Research

20952635 (ISSN)

Det cirkulära köket - VGR demonstrator (CIK)

HSB Living Lab, 2022-01-01 -- 2022-12-31.

Västra Götalandsregionen (MN 2021-00049), 2021-06-01 -- 2023-12-31.

Det cirkulära köket

HSB Living Lab (457-HSB), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Climate-KIC, 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.





Hållbar utveckling


Building Futures (2010-2018)


HSB living lab



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