The brief was to create a new tea room for the Trafford St “shed” located in a back street of Brunswick. The shed is a former factory building where our client and his friends tinker with motorbikes and cars. A place full of machines, metal, tools and of course, motorbike and cars, but seriously short of views, sunlight and a decent place to have cup of tea and relax. The roof has spectacular city views. Clearly the shed needed a tea room with a view and sunlight. Our client, a man with a passion for engineering in all its forms, asked us to design a tea room with a view and we rose to the challenge.
The Tea Room is perched on top of the old factory building to gain access to the sun, and make the most of the city views. The cantilevered form of the Tea Room looms out from the building, punching through the brick parapet at the front of the old factory, like a parallelogram spaceship crash-landed on the roof.
The Tea Room is propped on a V shaped column, a passing nod to both the V8 and to Viollet Le –Duc. The stair and lift inside is supported on a steel frame, the stair encased in coloured Danpalon to create a sense of entry as one ascends to the Tea Room.
The suspended concrete slab of the Tea Room, polished to a mirror finish, serves as a thermal mass, retaining the suns heat, while the hyper-insulated walls and roof will help retain that heat. In winter the PV panels on the roof will provide the power to electrically heat the slab so the Tea Room will remain warm all year round.