- Interior Design:Crossboundaries
- Design Team:Cynthia Cui, Maria Francesca Origa, Felix Amiss, Natalie Bennett, Anna Pipili, Sidonie Kade
- Collaborators:Shenzhen Artmost Design and Construction Co., Ltd
- Partners In Charge:Binke Lenhardt, Dong Hao
Text description provided by the architects. A two-floor teahouse of 1980sqm, Teabank is situated amidst tech corporations and startups in the new Shenzhen Software Industrial Base. As the first listed tea business in China, Shenbao conceived an offline store to complete its ecommerce with a brick-and-mortar tea experience in the burgeoning online-to-offline (O2O) retail market.
The Metropolitan Tea Life.
To provide a modern experience of tea – convenience and leisure – Crossboundaries designs the space for both a work break tea to-go and a get-away from the virtual world for tech professionals. The lofty first floor includes a long bar, indoor and outdoor seating, with ample spaces in the middle for crowds coming from the street and lobby entrances.
Above, an intimate mezzanine and a spatial second floor, provide a space for slower-paced activities and events. The second floor consists of a large book collection in its open library, while plenty of seating is spread out for reading and social interactions. Outdoor, a large seating area provides a tea garden and can transform into an event space in warmer days.
A Field of Pentagons - Tea Plantation Experience.
Crossboundaries uses a pentagon shape to defy the grid layout of the surrounding office towers. When multiplied, the pentagons can be demarcated for either rigid or organic outlines. They propagate like tea trees, taking form as floor, staircase, ceiling and furniture. The predominant use of wood softens the geometric pentagons and reinforces the sense of earthiness and organic growth that fills the teahouse.
A long, undulating flight of stairs suspends down from the ceiling. It takes the customers from the fast-paced first floor to weave through the steel columns and enjoy the changing atmosphere of the space. As the concrete path continues to the second floor, it is complemented with green woven vinyl that evokes warmth and nature.
Enhanced by a hung ceiling and light boxes in the shape of pentagons, this winding journey in Teabank simulates a relaxing stroll through tea fields, giving the customer an experience-focused offline store in the age of ecommerce.