Dining Island

  • 2020

  • Product
    Furniture and Lighting

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Ki Jun Lo

Jina Jun Lo

Designed In:


Dining Island’ was commissioned for a compact, 80sqm studio apartment with a limited kitchen space. The brief called for an island bench that would spend the majority of it’s time in a 2-seater configuration but which could expand to accommodate up to 6 seats for entertaining friends and family.

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Image: Northside Studio
Image: Northside Studio
Image: Northside Studio
Image: Northside Studio
Image: Northside Studio
Image: Northside Studio
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  • The biggest challenge with Dining Island was to create a piece which would look aesthetically well proportioned in both docked and expandable configurations. The clients had extremely limited kitchen space in their compact studio apartment but also viewed food preparation and dining as a key experience they wanted to share with their friends and extended family group, despite the fact their apartment was only large enough to accomodate either and island bench or a dining table.

  • The design solution was to create a bespoke sliding system on custom-made nylon bearings which allowed the dining table to dock into the steel-framed island bench. In the docked position the table would seat 2 people, but when expanded it could accomodate up to 6 people. Meanwhile, the built-in joinery incorporated a wine rack, crockery display shelving and shelves for cooking books. The biggest design challenge faced was making the sliding mechanism efficient enough for one person to dock and undock the dining table.

  • The function and design of the piece ended up creating a multi-purpose living, dining and food preparation hub for daily life in the apartment. It provided the clients with ample storage space; again a bonus in an apartment with limited cupboard space. The materiality of the piece was originally driven by the client’s desire for a concrete top on the island bench, but after researching alternative composite and more environmentally sustainable options, I opted to utilise Kobeboard (a cement and reconstituted wood fibres product). All other timber in the piece is Australian hardwood and plywood.

  • Due to the modular nature of the internal joinery, ‘Dining Island’ is easily reconfigurable and customisable to suit any space. It dismantles into 4 main sections (plus joinery), with a removable lower steel strut in the steel framing, allowing for easy install into tight apartment spaces - a key design consideration with this piece.