The esplanade stands in the Basílio Teles Garden, located in Matosinhos. The garden stands in front of the City Hall, designed by Architect Alcino Soutinho in the late 80’s. This (once) romantic garden of the ninetieth century is now the sum of continuous interventions with poor architectonic quality and obsolete urban equipment. When approaching the project, the first thing that came to mind was to recover the original garden design and demolish all the equipment that had been built in the last decades. That proposal was not approved by the city administration and the intention they had of making a building in the garden persisted.
From that point on, the idea was to design a pavilion that could be removed and build any place else in case the cityhall changed their minds.
Light, efemeral and as abstract as possible in order not to connect it with the image of a traditional building, but – if possible – with a sculptural or natural object in a garden.
The building occupies a green space with triangular shape.
It was pretended to make it look organic and adapted to the existing space. As all the trees were kept, the building would have to avoid them. In the end, it should look like a curved spine or a Centipede in a garden. To obtain that, the search was for a combination of elements put together in a way to create repetition and rhythm.
The search was for one constructive element that could be used for the entire building in order to make it a prefabricated process.
The option went to glued laminated timber (Glulam) as it is a very clean and rigorous production process. Timber contributed to make the whole object look more natural and comfortable. The same element, but in different sizes, was used to floor, roof and walls. This wooden structure, like a skeleton that supports and give shelter to the organs, would support the functionalities of the Tea house. These spaces – bar and toilettes in black boxes – fit in the voids between the timber structure and function as space organizers themselves.