The decision to salvage a concrete roof from a collapsed warehouse as primary building materials informed the unusual design of this modern tea house. Designed by Archi-Union Architects for the backyard of their office in Shanghai, the Tea House is a gorgeous example of how ‘waste materials’ can be transformed into something of great value. Built around a mature tree and overlooking a pool, the structure custom-fits the small, restricted space.
The three-sided tea house features one glass wall opening up to the courtyard, creating a visual connection to the tranquil outdoor space as well as to the main building. Conceived as a relaxation space for employees, the tea house was designed around a twisted non-linear hexahedron staircase connecting the functional spaces within.
An enclosed tea house is located on the ground level, with a library on the second level. A small triangular balcony embraces the branches of the tree, with a view of the reflecting pool below. Additional private spaces include a lounge, a reading room and a service room. The architects explain that the space was designed “to bring a new experience to an ordinary functional space.”
“Linear space suddenly changes to an expressive form, surging from the tea house then transforming into a tranquil space for the library on the floor above, making the reading room a special place to sit.”