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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Coffee Shop
  4. China
  5. Archi-Union Architects
  6. 2011
  7. Tea House / Archi-Union Architects

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects

  • 01:00 - 14 March, 2012
Tea House / Archi-Union Architects
Tea House / Archi-Union Architects, © Zhonghai Shen
© Zhonghai Shen

© Zhonghai Shen © Zhonghai Shen © Zhonghai Shen © Zhonghai Shen +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    No. 1436 Jungong Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, China
  • Chief Designer

    Philip F. Yuan
  • Design Team

    Alex Han, Fuzi He
  • Area

    300.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

From the architect. The Tea House, located in the backyard of Archi-Union’s J-office, is constructed from the salvaged parts of the original warehouse’s collapsed roof. The site was extremely constricted with walls on three sides, and with only one side facing towards a nopen space that contains a pool. The space was further restricted by a mature tree.The design tries to embody harmony by integrating enclosure and openness, delightful space and logical construction and other complicated relations.

© Zhonghai Shen
© Zhonghai Shen

This building reactsto the site’s environment; the plan layout is a logically obscure quadrilateral, thus maximizing the amount of space. It is divided into three parts. A covered public area is formed towards the open space with the pool, with an enclosed tea house at ground level and library on the first floor where a small triangular balcony extends around the existing tree. Other more private spaces exist such as a lounge, reading room and service room whichare arranged towards the rear of the building; a delightful transitional space was created to connect the public space and the private spaces.

diagram 01
diagram 01

The transitional space was designed around a twisted nonlinear hexahedron staircase, which connects the functional spaces. The stair resolves the vertical transportation issue fromthe tea house and the library and provides an inner courtyard near the reading room for viewing the existing tree. The space was designed to bring a new experience to an ordinary functional space. Linear space suddenly changes into an expressive form, surging from the tea house then transforming into a tranquilspace for the library on the floor above, making the reading room a special place to sit.

© Zhonghai Shen
© Zhonghai Shen

The volume is a three-dimensional irregular shape which is impossible to be understood through plans. The twisting shape was designed by scripting in Grasshopper an algorithmic plug-in for Rhino. However such a shape is difficult to translate into quantifiableinformation for guiding construction. The constraints of manual construction obligedus to invent solutions at the time of construction to realize the advanced digital design with local low-tech construction techniques. Firstly we abstracted the structural skeleton which was subsequently scanned with digital software.

© Zhonghai Shen
© Zhonghai Shen

This curved shape was then recalculated through interlacing straight lines; these lines were then formed into ruled surfacesfilling the void. The spacing wassetto the dimension of timber, thus the digital ‘setting out’ could be easily translated into a manually constructible shape. A 1:1 timber framework was produced by following the same logic as the digital model; a subdivided timber shuttering covered this framework to create a curved form work. The form work was built through a series of upper and lower layers according to the construction sequence. The casting was almost the same as ordinary concrete casting, reinforced with re-bars following the straight lines of the ruled surface.

© Zhonghai Shen
© Zhonghai Shen

Concrete casting after the reinforced bar was completed by manual labor and the final physical effect was achieved. The traces of the timber formwork remained imprinted on the poured concrete after construction, with quality defects such as bubbles, adhesive failures and re-bar exposure present due to the manual construction – defects, however, that are obscured by the unique curved shape. Although there are errorsofin the formwork, planning and manual casting the combination of digital design and low-tech manual construction provided a great opportunity to study the possibilities of digital architecture.

© Zhonghai Shen
© Zhonghai Shen
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Tea House / Archi-Union Architects" 14 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/216171/tea-house-archi-union-architects/>
Read comments

49 Comments

Aaron · March 04, 2015

The perfect example of using concrete the right way!

Carla · December 18, 2014

Beautiful!

Lin · May 19, 2013

I always wonder, don`t they have any regulations for railing

terra garcia-chang · November 29, 2012

This is gorgeous! I feel like if the architects use this method of design to create another building, the outcome would be remarkable.

Arvo · July 24, 2012

@archdaily ???? Tea House / Archi-Union Architects | China, Shanghai 2011 :http://t.co/ihp6Ppgt

Tea Trade · July 14, 2012

Cool tea house in Shanghai: http://t.co/2SWyeJco

Jonathon Quinn · April 27, 2012

Yet another #Tea House, yet a fantastic one / Archi-Union #Architects | @ArchDaily http://t.co/0qk1EFCl

knoertz · April 26, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects
http://t.co/O8n39ANR via @archdaily
#architectuur #design

Curly Sue · April 07, 2012

Tea House - http://t.co/Y8xGzgVa @dalooyah @smazzouni

Foof · April 06, 2012

what a piece of art.. the architect here is so exceptionally creative, borderline genius :) good job!

Antonio Montecalvo · April 04, 2012

RT @ArchDaily: Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/cBAIUwZO #architecture

Edgard Vivas · April 04, 2012

RT @ArchDaily: Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/cBAIUwZO #architecture

Kelly Xie · March 21, 2012

wish I went to this interesting teahouse when I was in Shanghai http://t.co/t8xIZROH

Boby · March 18, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/PdCab481 via @archdaily

osman ghaffar · March 18, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/5ZtDcJ71 vía @archdaily

AllAboutDoor&Windows · March 17, 2012

A tea house with crazy bookshelves, asymmetrical windows and twisted walls? LOVE. http://t.co/3YpA647V #architecture #teahouse

Levi putt · March 17, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/xyoGPRzN #architecture

Holly York · March 17, 2012

absolutely LOVE this! http://t.co/dAdh6jSK #architecturestudent

Carte Blanche · March 17, 2012

brilliant space. brilliant. http://t.co/LZo5xrmu

Vicky Alvarez · March 17, 2012

Interesting Tea House / Archi-Union Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/z4Qv7MeN

???? · March 17, 2012
???? · March 17, 2012
jenny c · March 17, 2012

big fan of buildings built around trees. big fan. http://t.co/5DzJ9HgM

Keng KSPstudio · March 16, 2012

??????????????? ????????????
http://t.co/r0CXR5xU http://t.co/jXdUnLdR

Eraux-jasique · March 16, 2012

I appreciate the design of this tea house very much. It&#39s on the &#39where to spend time when I go to Shanghai&#39 list. http://t.co/74zN1mGh

Dee ???????? · March 16, 2012

omg absolutely love the architecture of this house http://t.co/5DqTmxai

Gonzalo · March 16, 2012

What a masterpiece! Gorgeous. I would only have a few more plastered white walls to contrast and brighten up the spaces.

Belle · March 16, 2012

Tea House: http://t.co/i9XiWbqi #architecture #design

Nicholas Patten · March 16, 2012
Dana Tomic Hughes · March 16, 2012

Tea House in Shanghai by Archi-Union. Looks like another gun project let down by average photography... http://t.co/ihCZWi0k

Helen · March 16, 2012

I think the level of finish of the concrete somehow justifies its use in such a broad stroke manner. If the finish were sloppy it would be very bleak but excecuted in such a successful manner, this house becomes a celebration of formwork!

Guest · March 15, 2012

What a beautiful tomb!

Neda Al-Khalaf · March 15, 2012

“@ArchDaily:

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/0tKKwZPZ #architecture”

Studio EM · March 15, 2012

not only is this awesome #architecture and #interiordesign but check out the book shelf design, just loving it http://t.co/mFAVfyhL

Umano_Estudio · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/6VxKN6JU Seguimos descubriendo un poco de arquitectura #China @Umano_estudio @Alejo_Ferrari

Darwin Mendoza · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/MI4mEzaI via @zite

ali asadi · March 15, 2012

Harmony of Interior and exterior , most beautiful

ali asadi · March 15, 2012

very nice...
Harmony of interior and exterior design beautiful

Tristan Le Breton · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/D17JS5QK via @archdaily

Nyasa Beale · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/xyoGPRzN #architecture

Sandro Malfitano · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects - http://t.co/4KkIXQFy - #architecture

Sandra Åhlén · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/5lkXnpnR via @archdaily

Micha? Koz?owski · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/sxivbfFx przez @archdaily

Adrian Tinniswood · March 15, 2012

Must see: http://t.co/VZFRGgjv a gorgeous, cavernous tea-house. Check out the library and balcony built around a tree: http://t.co/xyoGPRzN

arquiRED Mexico · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/6fMdIMZy vía @archdaily

Mx · March 15, 2012

Tea House / Archi-Union Architects http://t.co/6fMdIMZy vía @archdaily

?nicöle · March 15, 2012

Must see: http://t.co/VZFRGgjv a gorgeous, cavernous tea-house. Check out the library and balcony built around a tree: http://t.co/xyoGPRzN

Harvey Wallbanger · March 14, 2012

Beautiful at moments, bleak at others. An incredible bespoke concrete core contrasted with dinky off the shelf door handles

Munter Roe · March 14, 2012

Needs a bit of timber on the floors to warm things up + a bit of colour on the walls.

godryk · March 14, 2012 03:35 PM

I have to disagree, they were definitely going for that grey and dirty esthetics (we don't have to like it), some random timber and color will be totally out of place.

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