Studio Doherty’s Nest Kitchen relies on a mixture of methods and processes to achieve the unique curves and forms of its distinctive design. Fabrication and production were undertaken by Evolve Interiors, and while some techniques were traditional, others required some clever, out of the box thinking by excellent craftspeople to be realised.

Using a combination of High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) Low-Pressure Melamine (LPM), cold-forming and post forming, Nest Kitchen is the perfect demonstration of the possibilities of Laminex, and the perfect way to inspire designers and makers.

The Pantry

To achieve its multi-coloured look, the pantry employs several techniques. To start, each panel of the carcass was ordered direct from Laminex as LPM using Laminex Coastal Sunrise. Applied to decorative MDF (the rear panel features Laminex Just Blue) these pieces make up the interior of the pantry.

To complete the double bullnose effect of the shelves, each piece is ordered with the curve side applied.

“We were able to get the bull nose profile direct from Laminex as post-formed pieces, ordered like I would a benchtop, just in this case a mini bench top, which I then cut to size,” says Andy Joachim, Joinery Director of Evolve Interiors.

“The two pieces are screwed and glued together just leaving the shelf top laminate to be adhered. We use a CNC machine to plot the screws and the shelves are attached to the “box” of the pantry,” explains Joachim.

Once the shelves go in, Laminex Kalamata AbsoluteMatte is applied to the exterior - cold-formed by the fabricator - and the two-tone effect is complete.

The shelves in the door achieve a similar look using pre-ordered pieces, cut to size with rails made by a local steel fabricator and painted to match. Bending with perfect accuracy, they slot into holes marked by CNC.

The Island Bench

More than a simple, rectangular obelisk, the kitchen island dictates the radius of every curve that follows.

Beginning with the carcass, Joachim and his team cuts and makes the top and bottom forms to match the plan-view of the island’s shape. The concave shape of the island is ribbed out to create the right height of the benchtop and the radius double checked to allow for the thickness of bendy ply. The surface is prepped for the laminate, screws and holes are filled and smoothed, as if ready for paint and Laminex is gently applied. Except for usable side of the island - the drawers and cupboards which have been made using Laminex decorated MDF (LPM) - all main elements of the island, benchtop and façades have all been constructed using HPL, cold-formed by the fabricator.

Designing simplicity is almost always the opposite in construction and the shadow lines Studio Doherty designed into the base and benchtop adds a subtle, minimalist’s detail to the complex form. It has been created by sandwiching three pieces together, with a thin board of 6mm MDF between each section, it is then set that back by five or six mil before being screwed together.

The Banquette

If anything, the circular banquette and table at the centre of Nest Kitchen is a lesson in geometry. Each new surface is a new radius with allowances for substrate, timber and laminate thicknesses. “How we treat one curve doesn’t change from unit to unit,” says Joachim, “we’d build the forms and laminate them essentially, cold-forming Laminex Olivine carefully onto each new piece.”

Adding to the retro charm of the banquette is the steel railing and in many ways is made the same way as the rails of the pantry, only larger. The radius and shape of the bench was drawn up in CAD and sent to the steel supplier. Holes were drilled and the rail dropped in.

The table represented the most difficult challenge for the banquette. Standing on three legs, through trial and error, Joachim found the perfect match to the Laminex Smoked Birchply of the underside. Using a wire brush to expose the grain a little, the Tasmanian oak legs were then painted to match the darkest part of the laminate. Once applied, it is wiped away to leave a very close approximation of the Laminex Woodgrain it is attached to.

The table itself is Decorated MFD in Laminex Olivine on top of Laminex Smoked Birchply. A rebate allows a custom designed steel plate to sit flush on the underside and the timber legs to be attached by 150mm solid steel pins. Its lightweight form conceals the creative thinking behind its success.

Nest Kitchen uses nearly all the processes available to Laminex and cabinet maker, often at the same time. While small, Studio Doherty’s reassessment of the modern kitchen and Evolve Interiors’ clever interpretations is a showcase of the creative potential of Laminex.

As always, we recommend speaking with your fabricator, designer or to Laminex directly to achieve your desired results.

Campaign: Laminex
Design: Studio Doherty
Photographer: Derek Swalwell
Stylist: Natalie James
Art Direction: Ortolan
Joinery: Evolve Interiors
Splashback: Artedomus
Appliances: Fisher & Paykel
Floor: Woodcut

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Artedomus Sugie Series (Splashback)
Fisher & Paykel Appliances
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Island Bench, Hanging Shelf and Banquette
Laminex Just Blue
Laminex Olivine
Laminex Weathered Ply

Laminex Olivine
Laminex Smoked Birchply

Laminex Kalamata AbsoluteMatte
Laminex Coastal Sunrise
Laminex Just Blue
Laminex Pale Honey

Woodcut European Oak in Pearl White