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The Tea House for The National Trust Group 11 Interior Design: Andretti Fung Surface design: Celestine McCabe Interior Design: Kristina Beniusyte Interior Design: Hayley Williams Surface Design: Joanna Wilson Interior Design: Shola Usman

Location: Squirrels Corner

Photographs by Andretti Fung and Kristina Beniusyte.

Site Survey Measurements


Survey by Hayley Williams

Our Mission Statement Our strategy has four objectives: engaging supporters, improving conservation and environmental performance, investing in our people, and financing our future. Ref: Online Source

Mission Statement: The National Trust retains both its historical identity and its reputation to be a place for everyone. It is a place to educate, unite and bring an element of the historical countryside alive. Through innovative design, inspired by organic forms and nature from Polesden Lacey we hope to create a space which will entice and attract new visitors by creating a relaxing tree house which will therefore reach out to a wider audience and keep current members interested. We want Polesden Lacey to re-expand and encourage people to visit the outdoor countryside. Our mission is to add an innovative structure which integrates the landscape to improve the current space that already exists rather than to create an additional area. By keeping some of the original features of Polesden House whilst merging them with modern techniques for our tree house structure this will bring everything up to date, improving the conservation and investing in the future.

Concept: The design for the tree house is sculptural but with function, since it is a sculpture it will look similar to an open-aired follie design. To create an experience we want to question the user by making them wonder whether they are within a building or actually standing outside. Organic concept inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright inspired by blending the structure with the natural landscape. Cantilevered construction will allow showcasing of different viewpoints of Polesden Lacey and what it has to offer.

Design Development: British Tea Concept

Tea -Fair trade -Eco-friendly -Sustainable -Green living -East meets west -Universal

Page by Andretti Fung

E’terra Samara

Architect Inspiration

This designers tree house showed us it did not have to be an enclosed space but rather a sculpture. The style of the building looked like dried leaves enabling us to research and develop for our own designs.

Frank Gehry Creates illusional structures with repetition and rhythm. His design is always organic forms made of modern materials mainly metals like steel and aluminium. He inspired us to design curvilinear structures based on the environment.

Page by Andretti Fung

Inspiring tree houses The Idea

Play house  ‘The  Den’  built  of  bamboo.  Shape  inspired  by  Mantra  ray  .  At  six  senses  Kiri  Thailand.  CollaboraFve   project  –  Olav  Bruin.   The  open  design,  plan  broken  into  4  zones  with  different  acFviFes  for  the  kids: •Fashion  room •Music  room •Art  room •Library. Built  in  resort  for  tourists  with  kids,  so  not  only  the  parents  would  be  entertain  during  the  kids  but  the  kids   Would  have  fun  and  unfaithful  experience.  

The construcFon Baumraum’s  World  of  Living  tree  house  on  spider  legs. The  tree  house’s  main  body  rests  on  a  structural  system Of  seven  obligue,  conical  shaped  columns  made  of  Sibirian  larch.

Page by  KrisFna  Beniusyte Ref:.  Images  hBp://

Inspiration Inspired by the aesthetics of dead flowers such as lilies. Using models to understand the unpredictable curvilinear movement and trying to envision a space. Even though the movement of the curves are all different and going a range of directions the open-aired models show repetition and rhythm.

Repetition with a rounded curve suggests unity within an overall form that moves in different directions. Rhythm with the angles and some directions they curve. They are different sizes yet angle similarly. On the right Is a sketch model design with organic shaped platforms, both including repetition and rhythm. Incorporating nature and its growth I have included a sustainable vertical wall.

Page by Andretti Fung

Inspiration and analysis Analysed organic elements and experimented with the key elements that were found in each organic structure.

Design elements chosen for design development •Organic •Layering •Repetition •Overlapping •Curved •Movement

Section of tree: repetition and layering.

Dried leaf : curves and geometric frame

Experimentations with the models- applying key elements.

Page by Kristina Beniusyte

Design Development

Idea stemmed from this image and a few other striking anastomosing silhouettes the branches casted onto the ground and other surfaces. Extracting the silhouettes of the branches reflected on the ground and other surfaces, I made a skeleton-like structure.

Sketch model with applied geometry, analysis of connection and movement.

Page by Shola Usman

Living Canopy: -Blends with natural environment -Shelter from unpredictable weather -Organic -Masks construction elements -Increase oxygen levels -Adds to surrounding country.

Design Development

Activities outside encourages kids to play when they leave the structure, and sheltered spots entice their parents/guardians to linger. Instead of a closed fenced- in interior we want to embrace the outdoors.

Garden decking/outdoor seating. Underneath is a vertical living wall. Grows a range of teas to use inside the cafĂŠ/ tea bar.

Page by Andretti Fung and Shola Usman

Design Development: Simplifying the design concept Three overlapping platforms.

360 degree viewing points.

Feeling of being in the tree. Functional

Initial idea was to create 3 viewing platforms that would be fit for purpose. Juxtaposition created to get different view points from different heights. Using key elements : layering, overlapping, repetition and movement, created overlapped platforms that creates different view points. Platforms are surrounding the core support that is a metaphor for a tree. Creates 360 degree for viewpoints, at different heights. Each platform serves its function. Metaphor – to create a tree house that would create a feeling of being in a tree.

Applying organic curves to the design Concluding the final design and structural elements, I resumed to the initial structure, eradicating the now organic form. Instead of the structure we will have the design as a pattern on the glass façade of the ‘Tea house’ Sketches by Shola Usman Page by Kristina Beniusyte

Analogy and Inspiration

The main element that was taken from the analysed organic elements was layering and overlapping, That was evident in most of the elements. The approach was to create levels that overlap each other, this effect was analogical to fungus mushroom that grows in layers and each of the layers overlap the other.

“A building is not just a place to be. It is a way to be� F.L.Wright Frank Lloyd Wright and his organic architecture philosophy. His approach to the organic architecture was a link between the research and analysis and approach for the design development. Fallingwater 1948

Guggenheim Museum 1956

Creating platforms using fungus an an inspiration, cantilevered effect.

Integrating buildings with the landscape. Form and function was F.L.Wrights inspiration. System of organisation. Geometry. Overlapping and shared spaces.

Page by Kristina Beniusyte

Proposed Design

From straight geometric shape going towards more organic and softer design with rounded corners. Concept is to keep more as a open structure that would connect to the Surrounding and would reconnect with the nature. Sketch model of the proposed structure, that consists of three juxtaposed, cantilevered platforms, that creates different experience and view points in each floor. Creates effect of layering. Three different parts connected by the supporting pillar, representing the tree. Shared spaces.

Right Drawing by Andretti Fung Left drawing and model by Kristina Beniusyte

Proposed Design

Drawing by Andretti Fung

Final Concept

Page by Kristina Beniusyte

Glass Partitioning Walls

Page by Shola Usman

Vertical Living Wall Material: This would hang off the central core of the tree house which is made from reinforced concrete and steel sheets. The bars that the pots of individual tea hang off would be made from recycled plastic tubes.

Individual plant pots placed as though they are a vertical garden. This design allows tea to grow separately making it easier to maintain and grow in England. However less variety because of the lack of humid weather. Can grow mint, camomile and many other herbal teas.

-Cheap -Environmentally friendly -Recycled -Lightweight -Does not rust with wet weather Maintenance: Relies on someone to crop the tea leaves as well as dry them in a process to be used later in the house. -Job opportunities -Volunteers -Bigger community for National Trust

4ms Height

Enough light can reach to areas that have cantilevered construction over the living wall area.

-Different teas would be dried later for use in the tea bar to drink or purchase. -Railing around the horizontal tea bushes so no one apart from staff can access. Allowing tea to grow without disruption. Page by Andretti Fung

Vertical Living Wall Construction This side of the vertical wall faces east therefore would see natural sunlight first thing in the morning. The design is a folding mechanism so the vertical fence can swing inwards and be space saving whilst having the option to swing outwards for growth or maintaing.


Cross wooden fence structure.

-Space saving -More room to grow -Sunlight can get to the tea even under the platform

Timber frame tongue and fork joint.

Half Dovetail tie beam tenon.


Herbal teas over trying to succeed at growing everything. Simply impossible sometimes if tea cannot succeed there is the option of just growing herbs for cafe.


Each row grows a different tea. Range of herbal teas which can grow in England. Just needs water and sunlight. Page by Andretti Fung

Design Development “Personal path of discovery� - Lin Morris.

Grow your own tea! National Trust is very British and the idea of Polesden Lacey being able to grow their own tea is sustainable, organic and new whilst allowing them to be resourceful. This source of produce is gives a personal touch and keeps with British heritage. Could be problematic as tea growth needs to be in hot and humid weather.

Materials: Glass transparent table top for the flat, smooth and clear surface to view the tea leaves and recycled paper which information about the tea would be printed on to.

Shelving within reusable logs from the site. Inexpensive, functional and aesthetically appealing. Material would be cherry wood which Polesden Lacey has excess of. Tea bar is situated in front of the feature wall to guide visitors towards purchasing tea. More visitors equals more sales therefore more funding for the National Trust who rely on donations.

Page by Andretti Fung and Shola Usman


Page by Celestine McCabe

Ceramic Tea Cup Designs

Page by Celestine McCabe

Wall Paper Designs

Page by Celestine McCabe

These designs were inspired by Arts and Crafts styled wallpaper, however I put a contemporary twist on the traditional subjects by focusing on tea plants rather than lily heads and vines.

Tea Plant Designs

The colour schemes that I have used are much more subtle than those from traditional Williams Morris designs, adding another more modern, lighter take.

Page by Joanna Wilson

Wood Panel Designs Theses designs were initially take from studies I conducted of tree bark and the patterns in tree knots. I then manipulated the drawings in Photoshop to create an even more flowing feel. Following this I overlaid my designs onto plain panels of wood and also images of log ends, to create an in-graved and naturally carved effect.

Page by Joanna Wilson

Creeping Wallpaper Design Here you can get a better idea of what my designs look like in a real situations, by using in-situes.

Page by Joanna Wilson

Experimenting With Wall Surfaces Due to the materials of the interior flooring being dark cherry wood, the idea was to keep the colours of wallpaper surfaces and textures quite simple and bright to visually enlarge the space. Myself and the surface designers chose a modern wooden panelling againts the interior walls which alternate in wood texture. The toilets which are confined would contain light colours that included a modern-take on the arts and crafts design patterned wallpaper within Polesden House.

Surfaces by Celestine McCabe and Joanna Wilson Page by Andretti Fung

Plans and Elevations Plan

Section Front

Section Back

Front elevation

Left elevation

Back elevation

Right elevation

Page by Kristina Beniusyte Section drawings by Shola Usman

Interior dimensions and Spacing

Platform 2

Platform 1

Platform 3

Page by Kristina Beniusyte

The circulation shows the movement available in and around the tree house. It will suggest the areas which would be most populated when the structure is being used.

Circulation and Transition Observational platform

Seating platform

Level TWO. Lift Tea room

W.C (Public space) Circulation/transition (Social space)

Level ONE. Lift

Level THREE. Lift

Bar area (Private zone)

W.C (Public space)

Circulation/transition (Social space)

Circulation/transition (Social space) Page by Andretti Fung

Materials Concrete Thermomass concrete building-insulation system is a pre engineered, energy efficient insulated concrete sandwich- wall system. Made with high-strength fibre-composite connectors and rigid insulation, which is designed to be sandwiched between two layers of concrete.

REF: Online Source: woods.html Book Source: Transmaterial 3, Princeton Architectural Press.

Application: Site-cast tilt-up, plant precast, and poured-in-place concrete sandwich wall construction. Environmental: High thermal efficiency, high content of recycled and regional materials. Limitations: Requires installation by precertified concrete contractors.

Metal Stainless steel sheets of InvariBrush is an abrasive polished finish with a deep, rich, uniform texture designed for us in architectural applications, InvariBrush can be applied to wall panels, elevator cabs, coping, and trim. Since InvariBrush has no coatings to deteriorate, it will last indefinitely with little maintenance. Applications: Wall panels, elevator cabs, coping, trim, various architectural elements. Environmental: High recycled content, recyclable.

Glass Pressed glass offers the optical clarity and excellent fire performance of glass with a wide variety of interlayer options. 3form organic, printed, and textile materials for insertion between glass layers, and the result is an extremely rigid, thin-gauge product ideal for applications requiring a clean apearance and minimal hardware. Glass and steel in architecture allow a space to be light and a structure to be elegant. Applications: Feature walls, horizontal and vertical surfaces, privacy windows. Limitations: No heat forming or cold bending.

Wood Cherry wood which is available at Polesden Lacey on site and would be used for the interior. Properties: A moderately hard, strong, closed grain, light to red-brown wood, cherry resists warping and checking. It is easy to carve and polish. Uses: Cherry veneers and solids are used in a variety of styles. Cherry has been called New England mahogany and is often used to craft 18th century, Colonial and French Provincial designs.

Page by Andretti Fung

Composite construction.


The composite frame uses a combination of composite slab ad beam elements and has p r o v e d v e r y e f fi c i e n t f o r m u l t i - s t o r e y construction. The traditional composite frame compromises primary and secondary beams rigidly connected to the floor slab using their shear studs. Floor slabs generally comprise composite metal decking with in situ concrete. These span onto secondary beams. Experience of the space no matter what size, shape or ability. EU law - Adequate availability of access so there is no disadvantage.

Wall constructions detail by Kristina Beniusyte Wall and floor insulation by Hayley Williams

Final Model

Visualisations by Joanna Wilson

The Tea House  

Tree house proposal for the National Trust

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