HOSPITALITYDESIGN: ONE Teahouse Celebrates Tea as a Sacred Reverence


Photo by Zhigang Lu •
November 12, 2020


Architecture and interior design firm: Minax Architects, Shanghai

The details: Tea is esteemed with a sacred reverence in Chinese culture, so naturally a holy rite warrants a divine house of worship. ONE Teahouse in Shanghai, a surrealist vision within a modest footprint of fewer than 180 square feet, employs “ordinary materials to achieve a sense of ritual beyond daily life in an ordinary space,” says Lu Zhigang, cofounder of locally based practice Minax Architects. While warmth is achieved via a bevy of light wood options, including strand board walls, pine beams, bamboo floorboards, and straw seating (commonly used by monks for meditation), drama unfolds thanks to the 999 sculptural wooden pegs that protrude from the walls and form a translucent, circular void within the interior. “In the Chinese sutra, there is a concept called ‘all Zen the Zen,’ which means that no matter how things change, the origin can always be found,” Zhigang says. “The wooden squares converging toward a center from different directions became the way for us to interpret this concept.”

This article originally appeared in HD’s October 2020 issue.

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