Well my brother and I took down the upper cabinets in the kitchen a few days ago. It revealed the inside of the bulkhead and to my relief, the only thing running through there is the oven vent.
So it's understandable why the bulkhead goes all the way around the kitchen and even extends further than it has to. Simply, the oven is so far away that the vent had to reach that far... and then they just finished it off to the end of the wall for aesthetic purposes even though that remaining part was completely empty.
Well lucky me! Because the stove will move to where the sink is, this removes about 2/3 of the vent length, and removes any corners. My designer suggested that because the resulting vent will end up being relatively short, just thread the oven vent through the upper cabinetry. It means we can't put anything in those particular top cabinets (except for maybe paper instruction manuals) but it will allow us to extend the cabinetry all the way to the ceiling now on all sides.
What a relief. NO MORE BULKHEAD! WOOHOO!!! I hope my contractor and designer agrees that it's possible. I'll find that out on Tuesday, August 6th.