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Olinda Tea House

Smith and Tracey Architects

Victoria Entries 2011


Winner of The Engineered Timber Products Award, 2011




A modern pavilion style building designed to replace an out-dated facility no longer of use on the site.

The new building has been located centrally on an existing clear area to maximize the opportunity for north solar access and views down the valley to the west and north-west. Its floor level is set to allow easy disabled access from the existing car park area. Access within the building and to all decks, walkways and garden gazebos is also level and disabled-friendly.
As the land slopes away to the west the floor level and surrounding deck become elevated, affording grand views over the garden below and the flower farm adjacent.

The entry experience is enhanced by a series of staged-revealment elements; from the dense planting and screen fence providing concealment from the car park, to the prominent curved earth wall providing an initial southern garden focus, and finally to the entry ‘portal’ opening half-way along the curved wall.

As a pavilion, the building utilizes a ‘floating’ butterfly roof form atop expansive glazed walls and surrounded by generous timber-planked decks to enhance the indoor-outdoor transition. The functional services area containing kitchen, stores and toilets is plugged on to the east end as a low level flat-roofed element clad in rough-sawn Western Red Cedar timber boards.
The materials are chosen to be low maintenance and colours to be sympathetic with the natural surrounding environment.
Included around the café outdoor deck are pre-rusted ‘Core-ten’ steel panels giving the opportunity for local artist/s to provide iconic Mt Dandenong imagery/patterns to be laser cut into the balustrade panels.

The main structural timber elements including roof beams and posts are engineered laminated pine.

Two ‘island’ gazebos are linked to the building by a timber walkway, and their style mirrors that of the main building.
Rainwater is to be collected and stored for re-use in a tank located under the s/w corner of the deck. Rooftop solar panels provide both hot water and electricity generation.
Entered into:
  • Timber Panels, 2011
  • Engineered Timber Products, 2011
  • Public or Commercial Buildings, 2011
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2011 Entries

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