waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china

in the chinese city of xiamen, waterfrom design has realized a place to enjoy the simple pleasure of tea. called the ‘tea museum’, the new intervention includes a reception center and areas for tea, rest, reading and dining. the building features a central atrium, which circles around an old tree, and works to bring natural light, air and a play of shadows into the internal spaces.

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

dining area

all images © yuchen chao

built over two storys, the entrance and reception area is designed by waterfrom as a glass pavilion surrounded by a lake. here, people are invited into a tranquil, quiet interior. as they descend down to the lower level, spaces for relaxation, dining and tea drinking can be found, in addition to an office and lecture hall. the concept behind the architecture intends to build a landscape that is connected to the ground, for this reason, most of the function are located in the basement floor.

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

dining and reading area

a large circular atrium punctuated the basement floor and provides an abundance of natural light into the lower level. within this glazed element, a small tree has been retained to symbolize the idea of community, as in xiamen culture, a tree acted as a core for villagers, who exchanged daily information and built relationships around it. this concept also goes hand-in-hand with the tea itself, as tea marks an important tradition of old xiamen culture. it is a calming ritual to boil water and brew tea for friends.

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

reading area

the interior design is defined by warm, natural and simple materials, in order to retain a detachment from the outside world. the design team strived to avoid excessive decoration and instead focused on constructing an intuitive space with simple lines. and with this simplicity, the users can better appreciate the natural light and play of shadows without distraction. guests will also enjoy handmade pottery, which intend to provide a more tactile experience while narrating local culture through the subtle, expressive details.

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

reception area, tea area

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

skylight detail

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

interior detail

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

interior detail

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waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

cooking area

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

lecture hall

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

corridor to the basement first floor

waterfrom design builds a tranquil teahouse around an old tree in china designboom

office corridor

project info:

project name: tea museum

location: xiamen, china

space design: waterfrom design

decoration: waterfrom design + gravity company

client: zhong nan group

category: reception center, tea area, ladder rest area, reading area, kitchen, dining area, office

area: 750 m2

layout: reception area, tea area, ladder rest area, reading area, kitchen, dining area, office

material: limestone, sandstone, luanta-fir, red copper with black oxide, borne copper with black oxide, hand paint, artificial stone

design period: april 2019 – may 2019

construction period: august 2019 – october 2019

photography: yuchen chao

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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