the tea hut

Private client
Roxburgh McEwan
Sloan Builders
not disclosed
AED provided full service for the Tea Hut, a challenging and unusual project, from initial briefing and appraisal, through concept proposals and full design to final completion.

Proposals were initially developed for a building atop a reinforced concrete anvil, rock anchored to the peninsula. This was too costly and ultimately impractical so designs for a balanced steel building on substantial pad foundations cut into the rock were developed. Site investigation was carried out to determine the shape and competency of the rockhead on the peninsula and it was found to be quite amenable. This allowed full proposals to be developed for the foundations and substructure of the balanced structure envisaged.

The scale and balance of the building were then modified to give a larger form which projected out over the sea to a greater degree. This necessitated the development of safe construction proposals which did not require working at height over water in order to complete the building. The chosen solution had the building being built at the landward end of twin rails, along which the superstructure of the building would subsequently be slid out into its final position, fully glazed and with the external envelope fully completed. The change in balance and size of the structure also required the installation of twin rock anchors at the landward end of the rails to maintain suitable factors of safety.

The building would now be slid out fully glazed along relatively small section rails. The costly glazing would be highly sensitive to differential movement in the frame. As such it was decided to test the behaviour of the building by loading it with kentledge and sliding it out to its final position, while measuring the distortion of the deck perimeter to which the glazing would eventually be attached, at interval during the slide. This would enable residual risks to the glass panels to be designed out in their fixings if required. The results we very successful and no special measures were required. The building was subsequently glazed and easily slid out without any issues whatsoever.

Watch timelapse films of the structure being slid out at various stages: