- Design Team: Man Ye, Yiqi Gu
- Engineering Design: Weizhou Fu
- The Client: Hehe Tea Gallery
- City: Nanping
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. Hehe Tea Gallery, where artist Poshui settled down with his family, is located on the south hillside of the orchard in the northern part of Wuyi Mountain. He has been studying on the traditional way of making Wuyi Yan Tea for years there and gradually gained his reputation with increasing number of followers. Under the co-efforts with his wife, the tea gallery presents picturesque daily life with old pine trees, vegetable garden, tea fragrance, and their lovely children. In 2015, Poshui first refurbished an old house for dwelling there, and then another one is built in the north in 2016. Their houses develop as naturally as mushroom grow in fertile land to meet their basic needs. Each year I was invited to witness the flourish of their home.
In 2020, I was invited for planning a tea pavilion and tea leaves’ sunning selves. A room had been extended in the back of the first house as bedroom for tea making assistants. However, the space was low and lacks enough sunshine facing the north, so I suggested to transforming it to a front porch for enjoying tea, and I rearranged the functions of the gallery by implanting three wood structures into it.
The three poetic wood structures designed and constructed by ZSYZ studio: the wide pavilion, the sunning shelves, and the tea porch, balance the wildness of the nature, and build up work and recreation space for tea making men.
The wide pavilion, the opposite spot to the entrance, should be a focus of the gallery. Columnar order is improved from traditional architecture to be simpler and modern, and the beams crossed in the roof creates a comparatively wide and open inner space. Columns and beams structured in elegant rhyme are breathing like trees and grass in the light filtering inside from the ridge. The roof tiles made by red cedar are in complete harmony with the surrounding pine trees.
The same columnar order is adopted for the sunning selves extended in broken lines, and the dense beams connected between the two columns form the selves for sunning tea leaves. A virtual wall of green tea leaves with aroma is thus shaped to turn the disorderly entrance that once functioned as car parking and garbage station into a tea making showcase for the gallery.
The tea porch creates grey space to integrate with the whole site that enables people to sit enjoying their tea comfortably leaning against the wood railings with a good view.
Three wood structures, gently implanted in the tea gallery looking on each other, set a benchmark for the poetic living environment, and contribute to the whole order of the gallery which becomes clear, harmonious, and alive with spirits. After the rain, the valley is veiled by the fragrance of tea and pine trees, making people inspired by contemplation in this wonderland.