With an emerging coffee house culture in China showing no signs of slowing down, the traditional teahouses in Asia have had to step up their game and respond with contemporary interpretations of their interiors. The struggle is real when it comes to maintaining relevance in today’s highly competitive hospitality market.
Linehouse’s latest project nails the concept of marrying the grandeur of traditional Chinese teahouses of bygone eras and a contemporary interior with a Brutalist bend. Tingtai Teahouse is situated within an abandoned factory in Shanghai‘s Moganshan Road arts district, which was inhabited by artists for almost two decades.
The designers have inserted a series of elevated boxes to divide and create seclusion in the vast volume. The private tea rooms are located on both upper and lower levels. The rooms on top are glazed floor-to-ceiling on two sides, providing guests with a voyeuristic experience. The lower level rooms have sunken seats and a low glass horizon that provides privacy at eye level. There are three other rooms at the back which are fully enclosed, catering for different levels of privacy.
The arresting interior emerges out of a sea of multi-level blueish-green terrazzo. Elsewhere, a simple palette of brushed darkened stainless steel and smoked oak cladding was chosen to create a simple and monolithic interior.