The evolution of Australian public barbecues

The evolution of Australian public barbecues

How the A Series cabinet changed public barbecues forever

For many years people with disabilities had to use able-bodied barbecue facilities when enjoying cooking outdoors on communal barbecues. This provided many challenges to the user and was something that we wanted to change.

Since its release in 2016, our unique A Series barbecue cabinet has transformed perceptions about the aesthetics and inclusivity of communal barbecues. It has been embraced by Designers and Parks and Local Government authorities for its eye-catching design, accessibility, and quality.

Design

When thinking of the “iconic Australian public barbecue”, the image that comes to mind is our Modular cabinets’ boxy form. After its release in 1996, it became the standard for clients and companies that subsequently entered the market. Heavily engineered to withstand a demanding public and the harsh Australian environment, it succeeds as a durable alternative to brick structures.

Thirty years later, design for universal access had rightfully gained traction in our public realm. We set out to produce an inclusive, aesthetically pleasing, versatile, and modern communal barbecue cabinet.

The A Series won prestigious Good Design awards in Australia and the USA. It is part of the Permanent Design Collection of The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. The striking, modern design is versatile and practical, featuring prominently in housing sub-developments, premier high-use and remote parks, and residential and office buildings.

Like all Christie cabinets, the A Series is designed for easy transportation to remote and rooftop sites. The cabinet is flat packed on a pallet to a height of only 30cm – ready for shipping around the country or the world.

Accessibility

Previously, manufacturers attempted to provide access to traditional box-shaped cabinets by extending the benchtop overhang. However, this positions the wheelchair further from the cooktop, preventing disabled community members from cooking.

By incorporating a recessed knee panel and extending the safety zone around the cooktop, the A Series solved a long-standing problem of maintaining safety standards while providing wheelchair access to the cooktop. The knee panel design is certified to meet the Australian Disability Discrimination Act AS1428. It has since been adopted as the industry standard for accessible public barbecues, including our popular ICON accessible cabinet.

Sustainability

The A Series is the only public barbecue cabinet manufactured entirely from high-grade Core 4622 stainless steel from Outokumpu in Finland. 4622 has 90% recycled content, compared to 70% for most other grades. Also used in the hotplates of our CC2 Cooktops, 4622 has suitable heat transfer properties for hygienic cooking, superior corrosion resistance, and formability for efficient production.

Quality

The all-stainless steel construction, hidden fixings, and integrated mounting system ensure durability from the elements and unexpected impacts. For cleaners, the rear access doors and raised platform makes waste containers easy to lift and empty, reducing back strain and improving OH&S requirements.

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