Design Crush: Cha Le Tea Cafe
Architect Michael Leckie built a tea house with a modern edge.
“The idea was to create a space to support the client in presenting the culture and rituals of tea,” said Leckie. Given the small space—just 670 square feet—Leckie’s team decided to maximize the area where tea merchants and clients could interact. To accomplish this, a long, singular counter made of engineered quartz is the focus point of the cafe, allowing staff to educate small groups or individuals about the tea and every aspect of the brewing process.
Floor-to-ceiling windows let natural light flow in, so even on the cloudiest Vancouver days Cha Le Tea is bright; a monochromatic milwork adds warmth. Plywood was used to create a multi-functional grid —based on artist Donald Judd’s work—which covers the ceiling and hides lighting, and then carries down onto the wall to feature teas. “We wanted the design to transcend current trends,” said Leckie. “The installation was meant to be minimalist and abstract; we wanted the tea to be the focus.” Other recent project of Leckie Studio in the neighbourhood include Karameller and Small Victory.
Cha Le Tea
1207 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.