Architecture

Zero Waste kitchen targets cleaner, greener cooking

Zero Waste kitchen targets cle...
Ivana Steiner has created a zero-waste kitchen, designed to take the effort out of living a zero-waste lifestyle
Ivana Steiner has created a zero-waste kitchen, designed to take the effort out of living a zero-waste lifestyle
View 15 Images
The Zero Waste Kitchen features a fold-out clothes horse for drying textile wipes
1/15
The Zero Waste Kitchen features a fold-out clothes horse for drying textile wipes
The Zero Waste Kitchen boasts a vertical herb garden
2/15
The Zero Waste Kitchen boasts a vertical herb garden
The kitchen boasts a composting box stored under the sink
3/15
The kitchen boasts a composting box stored under the sink
Vienna-based architect Ivana Steiner
4/15
Vienna-based architect Ivana Steiner
The kitchen has two sinks and a water jug to collect water for the herb garden
5/15
The kitchen has two sinks and a water jug to collect water for the herb garden
The kitchen has an additional two pull-out work benches that can be used for food preparation
6/15
The kitchen has an additional two pull-out work benches that can be used for food preparation
The kitchen is stocked with ample glass containers and linen bags
7/15
The kitchen is stocked with ample glass containers and linen bags
Linen bags for all the zero-waste shopping needs
8/15
Linen bags for all the zero-waste shopping needs
The structure boasts a user-friendly single structure unit with ample storage space
9/15
The structure boasts a user-friendly single structure unit with ample storage space
Ivana Steiner applied her architectural skills to create the perfect low-fuss solution for a zero-waste kitchen
10/15
Ivana Steiner applied her architectural skills to create the perfect low-fuss solution for a zero-waste kitchen
The Zero Waste kitchen includes a vertical herb farm
11/15
The Zero Waste kitchen includes a vertical herb farm
Steiner’s kitchen was built using recycled stainless steel
12/15
Steiner’s kitchen was built using recycled stainless steel
Glass jars and containers to store kitchen supplies are also used when shopping at unpacked stores
13/15
Glass jars and containers to store kitchen supplies are also used when shopping at unpacked stores
Ivana Steiner has created a zero-waste kitchen, designed to take the effort out of living a zero-waste lifestyle
14/15
Ivana Steiner has created a zero-waste kitchen, designed to take the effort out of living a zero-waste lifestyle
Steiner has built the kitchen to last 150 years
15/15
Steiner has built the kitchen to last 150 years

View gallery - 15 images

Vienna-based architect Ivana Steiner has created a waste-free kitchen designed to take the effort out of living a zero-waste lifestyle. She was inspired after visiting several "unpacked" shops in Vienna and was left surprised to learn how much effort it actually takes to live without waste. Applying her architectural skills to create the perfect low-fuss solution, Steiner’s Zero Waste Kitchen was born.

“I got to know people who live a zero-waste lifestyle and was very impressed by their mindset and how much effort they take to live their lifestyle,” Ivana Steiner tells New Atlas. “As an architect, I asked myself what the kitchen looks like so that one can live zero-waste and after many discussions with the community this kitchen was created.”

Steiner has built the kitchen to last 150 years
Steiner has built the kitchen to last 150 years

Steiner’s kitchen measures 400 cm (157 in) long, 60 cm (23.6 in) wide, 86 cm (33.8 in) high and was built using recycled stainless steel and recycled glass for the containers. The structure boasts a user-friendly single structure unit with sections for glass containers, fruit and vegetable baskets, a composting box, storage space, linen bags, and a vertical herb garden. She anticipates that the kitchen itself will last 150 years or can be later upcycled as a workshop bench.

“There is a difference between the production of steel from iron at 3,000 degrees in a blast furnace and the production of recycled steel in completely different processes is an electrical process at 1,000 degrees where there are no emissions,” says Steiner. “The interesting thing about recycled steel is that it can be recycled several times without the material changing. For example, wood becomes paper when it is recycled, or wood chips.”

The Zero Waste Kitchen is designed as a multi-functional space, incorporating a large open benchtop, which also doubles as a table that you can gather around to socialize, cook or dine. The kitchen has an additional two pull-out work benches that can be used for food preparation and there are two sinks and a water jug to collect water for the herb garden. There is also a fold-out clothes horse for drying textile wipes, and a stainless-steel compost container called "the worm box" is hidden under the sink. The only things that cannot be decomposed in the worm box, however, are bones, citrus fruits, and garlic. The vertical herb garden features a daylight lamp for the plants and humus can be collected from the compost box to be used for the soil.

The Zero Waste Kitchen features a fold-out clothes horse for drying textile wipes
The Zero Waste Kitchen features a fold-out clothes horse for drying textile wipes

“A tumble dryer is also essential for the zero-waste kitchen,” says Steiner. “This is important because you do without kitchen rolls and serviettes and only work with textile wipes that you wash and dry regularly. The wipes are divided into three groups: for products, for hands and for cleaning surfaces. The towels are washed every other day, or as often as necessary.”

In addition, the kitchen is designed to be placed in the center of the room, taking it off wall, as commonly found in most kitchen designs, which invites a community aspect to the space.

The Zero Waste Kitchen prototype cost Steiner €20,000 (approx. US$23,700) to produce. Having completed the project she now has her sights on further finding creative ways to combine sustainability with design in her future projects.

“Achieving ‘zero waste’ is an ambitious project, but sometimes when the crisis is there, radical concepts are needed,” says Steiner. “I think that's the future. We have to live more regionally and more sustainably, and architects and designers have to think about how we adapt our surroundings and the products which we use daily. My experience with the Zero Waste Community was very inspiring, that people care about how we pollute our planet and that each of us can do something about it.”

Source: Ivana Steiner

View gallery - 15 images
9 comments
9 comments
Demosthenes
Good idea, but the arrangement of the sinks away from the edge is a guarantee for back pain.
paul314
They layout in general is suitable for display but not real use (And would require serious replumbing and rewiring of any space it was put in, with associated aditional carbon costs). That could likely be fixed. And the herb garden might be more energy-efficient if it used, y'know, a window instead of electric light.
The Doubter
More a curiosity than a practical kitchen
Douglas Rogers
A really neat thig but only the people who buy a Clivus Multrum would buy this. Most people can barely afford a 9 x 12 kitchen with a counter across one end!
Bill S.
Ah.... I don’t think so
Dr.Glove136
This is exactly the sort of thing needed aboard the ISS, installed in its own 'culinary' module. Elon Musk should be presented with the opportunity to get the kitchen plus module up there, perhaps as a test mission for the Falcon Heavy.
Worzel
Composting in a kitchen is unhygienic, and smelly, (ie. Stinks) and will attract flies and other vermin. Growing herbs in the kitchen is fine, but they need light, lots of it, or they will very quickly turn brown, and be only fit for compost. That combined with the tumble drier, means lots of electric energy, which as yet, is expensive. The unit, has no toe space, which means stubbed toes, frequently.
As for, “The interesting thing about recycled steel is that it can be recycled several times...'' whoopee what a discovery, so can near enough all metals. Even wood gets recycled in its natural environment. It rots down, and the nutrients are then available for reuse by plant life, including trees.
The unit itself, looks like it was designed for a railway carriage, and needs cutting in half, and one piece set at 90 degrees to the other, at least, unless its designed to keep the users fit with lots of walking. The food items should be on either side of the cooker, to reduce unnecessary movement, and what the useless bags are doing there is anyone's guess. In conclusion, it's a fantasy design typical of both a woman and an architect, unergonomic and impractical, in my opinion.

Johannes
Some good concepts presented here, but perhaps the pursuit of zero waste involves other, more costly and less energy efficient systems. For example, is paper towel really so bad, if it comes from a renewable/recycled/waste source and is disposed of via composting or further recycling?
Baker Steve
Bonkers: I wonder, does she actually cook? Worm composter in kitchen: no (they escape) – and where does the runoff go? Growing plants in kitchen: my environmental heath inspector would have a fit at soil in a kitchen, plus they wouldn't have nearly enough light. As a table: where do you put you legs? Plus, I thought a kitchen was a room, not an object? And what's to stop those cabbages rotting?