This project is located on the fifth floor inside the chemistry exhibition zone, of National Taiwan Science Education Center, NTSEC in Taipei. A new thought of how to introduce idea of science in daily life brought the traditional chemistry laboratory connecting to culinary studio, which output this project “Kitchen of Science”. The main target of this project was to create a playful space for visitors to explore the fun of science. This kitchen should satisfy both children and adult users and visitors, and also the multi-use possibilities from culinary studio to demonstration classroom, to exhibition, to gathering activities.
The kitchen is a T-shaped plan divided into three zones, including hot culinary zone, cold culinary zone and leisure zone. The hot zone and cold zone are separated in two parts in one rectangular space, which intend to keep preschoolers away from heat devices safely. The hot zone is composed by a set of kitchen cabinet, one fix teacher’s counter, and four counter carts. The four counter carts were manufactured to encourage more enriching culinary programs to happen in everywhere in the Education Center. With adjustment of the carts in the kitchen, different types of culinary classes achieve. Additionally, children can stand on the foot-stools in case the counters are too high for them.
The cold culinary zone provides bakery and drink making. Similar to a chemistry laboratory, children experience different chemical or physical changes and get inspired through different scientific cooking programs. Since the new kitchen is located in the middle of exhibition area, half of the 16-meter glass wall can be slid open to adjust the transparency and accessibility between the new and the existing chemistry exhibition area on one side. Another sliding glass wall can also keep the rectangular culinary area closed from the other end of the T shape space, where the leisure zone is located.
The leisure zone provides sofa, bookcase with scientific cooking books and the wall of colorful spices that introduce both visual and taste experiences to visitors. This area provides triangular shaped plywood shelves with colorful spices and books, triangular sofa wooden base with artificial leather cushions, hexagonal plywood lamp, textile flooring with horizontal texture, black exposed ceiling with lots of pipes, clothes-stand-like triangular cup holders, and triangular coffee cart. All these elements offer this area a playful gathering space.
Besides providing culinary functions, the Kitchen of Science opens to public when it is free from events. Thus, some specialized exhibition walls have been designed in order to deliver the educational function. Furthermore, one crucial way to get close to science ideas of culinary arts is to interact with different people who have the intention to discover inspiring science issues. This new space provides NTSEC colleagues and visitors to gather, while people discuss, and motivate each other, new idea and thoughts would appear in a more inspiring state, which might feedback into this playful and inspiring science education center.