Finalist 2021

Christie Barbecues ICON Cabinet

Christie Barbecues / Rory Sangster, Product Development Manager / Paul Conradie, Head of Sales

The ultimate public barbecue cabinet, ICON is designed to provide universal access with a focus on safety, durability, and sustainability.

The ICON is a Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant wheelchair-accessible public barbecue cabinet for community members of all abilities.

Innovations include interchangeable components for parts replacement, a raised waste container and overflow for ease of cleaning and maintenance, and an expansive benchtop with individual food preparation spaces for social distancing while sharing facilities.

Design Brief

The challenge was to create a contemporary interpretation of our ground-breaking Modular cabinet launched 25 years ago. The design had to address current accessibility and OH&S standards while providing for larger, separate food preparation spaces and social distancing.

Our customers expect durable, cost-effective products that are easy to clean and maintain. We had to allow for a simple, enhanced user experience by multicultural community members and cost-effective local manufacturing.

We had to create a signature aesthetic to set ourselves apart from our original cabinet design, which has become the industry standard, and reassert our market leadership in innovation.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

Christie conducted the design process in-house. The marketing and engineering departments analysed and defined barbecue user and owners' needs and identified creative solutions to the problems identified.

We sourced suitable manufacturers for the project in the design process. They collaborated closely with the design team to produce several product iterations for testing using compatible 3D CAD software.

Prototypes were presented to internal stakeholders at critical stages to obtain feedback whilst reassessing adherence to the initial brief.

Design Excellence

The ICON is designed with the user experience in mind. The cabinet’s distinctly modern design blends seamlessly into any architecturally designed public space or stand out in an urban landscape, depending on the colour and finish option. The form is explicitly predicated on the functionality, including the need for universal access and ease of fabrication, transport, cleaning and maintenance.

The oversize benchtop offers ample food preparation space. By turning the self-contained Christie cooktops in opposing directions around, it also leaves 1.5m space between users. All the cabinet panels and parts are easily removable and replaced on-site if damaged. The waste collection tray is raised off the ground, improving workplace safety for maintenance persons.

The ICON cabinet has no sharp edges or protrusions. All fixings are accessible only from inside the cabinet through a lockable door to reduce the risk of vandalism and injury. Unique plastic corner inserts are incorporated into the benchtop for improved safety.

Combined with the angled benchtop profile, it reduces the potential impact on children hitting corners. Small, slimline rectangular perforations are used, instead of ventilation louvres, to vent the cabinet of heat, avoiding finger entrapment and possible exposure to sharp steel edges. A raised waste container reduces back strain when emptying the waste oils.

The design team focused on reducing the product's carbon footprint wherever possible throughout the design process. All materials, parts, and components are procured from local Australian suppliers, and finished cabinets are shipped flat-packed for ease of transport and site access. These initiatives reduce emissions and the overall product carbon footprint.

The flatpack design, 60% recycled all-stainless-steel content, and use of a single recyclable material allow the cabinet to be easily disassembled and transported to a recycling facility at the end of its design life

Design Innovation

The cabinet features several design innovations. The low-profile "shark nose" benchtop has been officially registered and is unique to the ICON and Christie Barbecues. The interchangeable body panels, multi-directional quick-release doors, and raised waste container with in-cabinet overflow reduce labour and maintenance costs for asset owners.

The slotted vents minimise heat build-up in the cabinet and may extend the design life of the barbecue appliance. The Standard size ICON's individual food preparation spaces allow for social distancing between multiple parties sharing the facility.

This is only possible through a combination of Christie's innovative cooktop and the ICON's oversize benchtop design.

Design Impact

The ICON is a universally accessible, child-safe barbecue cabinet for use in parks and shared public spaces. It encourages social inclusion, allowing community members of all abilities and cultures to enjoy the Australian tradition of outdoor cooking. Updating the more outmoded aspects of our current cabinet provides an improved user experience for Christie customers and shared barbecue users.

Reducing manufacturing complexity and using materials with 60% recycled content that is also recyclable reduces the overall environmental impact of the cabinet.

Christie Barbecues produced the first fixed electric public barbecue in Dromana, Victoria. It has become an Australian icon, often featured on social media by international visitors to Australia. Link here. It is currently in the Australian Pavilion at Expo2020 in Dubai. Link here.

Both the original barbecue concept and subsequent iterations of our cabinets have received international recognition, including the Permanent Design Collection of The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. Link here.

Christie currently has a growing international presence, with partners in the UK, UAE, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, and the UK, where BCP Council recently installed a number of Christie barbecues. Link here.

Having sold to destinations as far away as Fiji and Vietnam, Christie is a proud Victorian manufacturer and our barbecue innovations contribute to the global reputation of our state and country.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

Christie’s fixed public barbecues are inherently sustainable, in that they provide a safe and hygienic alternative to open flame barbecues in shared public spaces.

They offer an environmentally friendly solution that eliminates the environmental hazards of fire, smoke, pollution, and waste from disposable grills. Engineered for safety, they also reduce the risk of personal injury from flames and coals

The design team focused on reducing the product's carbon footprint wherever possible. All materials, parts, and components are procured from local Australian suppliers, and finished cabinets are shipped flat-packed for ease of transport and site access.

These initiatives reduce emissions and the overall product carbon footprint. The flatpack design, 60% recycled all-stainless-steel content, and use of a single recyclable material allow the cabinet to be easily disassembled and transported to a recycling facility at the end of its design life

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