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Big Brother 3 designer bespoke kitchen

In 2002/3 we were involved in the design of the Big Brother 3 kitchen for Channel 4's hugely popular show. The brief was for a WOW factor kitchen, so thats what they got.

The kitchen used 3 materials to achieve the stunning look. Stainless steel; both for the worktops & some door/drawer fronts. Red gloss lacquer for the main kitchen, combined with red acrylic (for the island) & white acrylic for some drawer fronts (which were then illuminated inside the drawers to great effect ). We also used stainless steel wall shelves, with glass tops & bottoms & internal lighting ( still quite rare in this country at that stage).

The kitchen layout itself was tricky. The internal corner was at a 45degree angle. So we followed the wall angles, and matched the large island to this shape as well, so that it had a 45degree angle in it (see photo of island below). Added to this we had 2 large wall 2-way mirrors limiting what could go where on the walls.

Big Brother 3 designer bespoke kitchen Big Brother 3 designer bespoke kitchen Big Brother 3 designer bespoke kitchen

The cabinet side panels proved tricky to do as well. 99.99% of kitchen cabinets use a single decorative end panel, to match the cabinet fronts. But as we had used 3 different materials we had to match every end panel with 2 different panels to keep the lines, & join them together neatly. This requires a high skill level in manufacture & fitting to get it right.

The Island - Big Brother 3 designer kitchen

The Big Brother house is a weird set up. The plan of the house shows a white area around the outside of the house. In reality this is an approx 2M wide corridor, which the films crews use to move freely around the house to shoot any area they wish. They do this through a series of 2 way wall mirrors, as shown in the other photo of the house mates.

Big Brother 3 house plan Big Brother 3 designer bespoke kitchen house mates

Another weird touch initially was disconnecting the extractor fan; so essentially it was just there for show. The reason being the sound men test every area of the house for anything that could interfere with the clear recording of conversations. They found that if the fan was used used on full speed it was possible for inmates to hold a whispered conversation that couldn't be recorded. So it had to be disconnected. Truly Big Brother.

A very scary moment for us during the show was when the housemates played hide & seek. One of them, Jade (who was not exactly lightweight) hide inside a 1200mm wide drawer! Luckily the drawer stood up to this test.

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