Teahouse by the Wetlands

Part of the joy of tea drinking stems from the brewing rituals – preparing the tea leaves, measuring the water temperature, using different techniques of infusion and swirling the hot water around the tea leaves. The teahouse takes inspiration from the fluid nature of tea drinking, where steam, temperature and the tea itself is in constant motion. A glass box elevated on a timber plinth, the teahouse opens up views to the surrounding lush greenery while protecting the interior from potential flooding of the adjacent wetlands. As the site will be surrounding by cultural institutions in the future, the building has an open transparent quality that can be viewed from all angles. The main approach is located to the south, where a new access path connects the entrance to the 1 Grade Green Lane.

Curved concrete walls, which echo the shapes of the nearby wetland ponds, weave through building and landscape, forming private tearooms on the interior and seating areas on the exterior. Each private tearoom – which can also be used for meetings and small gatherings – is oriented with a view to the surrounding landscape, with sliding doors that directly access the outdoor terrace that runs along the entire building. Sunken seating areas within these rooms reference the traditional tea drinking experience. The interstitial space between the tearooms then accommodate the bar and other supporting facilities, with loose benches, tables and chairs that can be arranged to suit different events. On the exterior, the walls are punctured to frame views of the landscape.

Sustainable wall cladding made from recycled coffee grounds are used on the curved walls, enriching the tactile quality of the space. Together with a system of steel beams and columns, the walls support the translucent arched roof. The roof consists of eight steel arches clad with translucent corrugated sheet, bringing natural light into the space and offering views to the trees and sky above.
View our other shortlisted entry for a boutique hotel here.

Location: China
Program: Teahouse
Year: 2020
Status: Shortlisted, Concept Design
Team: Paul Tse, Evelyn Ting, Marleen Stokkeby, Gin Joen Yau