At the request of the local community, Dutch architecture studio GAAGA designed a welcoming teahouse and gathering place for the neighborhood of Leiden, in the Netherlands. Called the Teahouse Leiden Noord project, the new structure extends in three prefabricated wood- and glass-clad wings, giving visitors a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape. Thanks to local funding, the project dreamed up 10 years ago finally came to fruition. It was worth the wait.
GAAGA architects approached the project with what they refer to as a “three-legged” design, creating three separate spaces that are unified in a large meeting space in the center. The single-story structure is capped with a cantilevered roof, which extends the usable space to the outdoors, while also creating a covered area to guard against rain.
Prefabricated wooden walls made from laminated larch and laminated spruce are met with floor to ceiling window panes, which extend to the outdoors with a wrap around deck, creating continuity from the indoors out. Two arms of the teahouse include seating areas for dining, working or playing games, a kitchen and a toilet. The third wing houses a small exhibition space for community projects. The end of each wing is capped with a glazed glass wall and door, creating a more private seating area with overhanging eave.
Interior temperatures remain comfortable thanks to glazed windows that block solar gain, and a vegetative roof which not only insulates, but also manages rainwater. The prefabricated pieces made the structure easy to assemble, while saving immensely on construction costs and remnants.