Tea House

Interior Designer: Kanat Studio
Architect: Ethan Hunter Architects
Builder: New Wave Construction

The foundation of the Tea House project centred around an in depth understanding of the intricate functionalities for ensuring the holistic wellbeing of individuals living with dementia, while also envisioning a space that could seamlessly accommodate the future needs of the eventual occupants.

This twofold objective prompted a meticulous approach towards integrating design elements that would serve both parties with a focus on familiarity, clarity, and materiality to enhance wellbeing. By employing astute colour strategies and incorporating natural materials, they endeavoured to mitigate the visual-perceptual challenges inherent in dementia.

Kanat Studio created a sanctuary on the Te Atatu Peninsula that transcends the confines of traditional dementia aesthetics, embodying a profound sense of warmth and tranquillity.

Method behind the masterpiece

The Inspiration

Research shows that creating familiar environments reduces accidents and fosters independence. Inspired by Australian rainforest town Kuranda, where the client's mother lived, the exterior colour palette was chosen to evoke familiarity and connection to nature. The mist green hues aimed to create a secluded green house, eventually intertwined with vines, reminiscent of Kuranda's lush environment.

Inside, natural materials and clear architectural elements were employed to mitigate visual-perceptual difficulties associated with dementia progression. Avoiding shiny surfaces and dark spaces, the design aimed for a calming, uplifting atmosphere. Soft, soothing colours were preferred over stark contrasts. The intention was to create a safe and stimulating environment.

The Hardware

The hardware selection balanced user-friendliness for dementia patients with long-term aesthetic appeal for the future homeowners. The Apex lever, a simple yet timeless design, complemented the warm, textured interior with Japanese influences.

Dulux powder coating in Scoria red accented interior spaces, enhancing spatial recognition. This colour choice facilitated clear articulation of hardware elements, with defined contrast aiding in spatial feature recognition.

The Match

Their aim was to integrate outdoor elements indoors by applying the exterior Scoria colour used on the veranda to internal door and window hardware through powder coating.

This concept extended to lighting fixtures, with light switch and power outlet covers powder coated in the same colour for a cohesive design scheme.

The Details

The custom sliding Shoji screen bed head that serves dual purposes: accommodating future wheelchair access while maintaining room symmetry. It reflects light and creates the illusion of a window, enhancing the space.

Also, the high windows, recommended by Ethan Hunter Architects, paired with beech ply ceilings, impart warmth and openness to the living area, enhancing the overall luminosity and ambiance.

Why did you choose Windsor?

“Windsor has a great selection and offers colour customisation alongside being the preferred hardware for our window joinery supplier. It was the best and easiest solution to specify Windsor as all our main hardware solutions for this project” Kate Pilot, Kanat Studio.

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