Curving glass walls enclose a bamboo forest in this Beijing tea house designed by local practice archstudio within the city’s historic Hutong district. The space had five old traditional houses and temporary corroded steel houses. The building, which originally hosted company business meetings before going dormant due to poor management has been transformed into a tea house.
The refurbishment was selective in consideration of the different buildings’ age, financial and historical value. The interventions in the north building had to be light, repairing only the parts with serious damage replacing the bricks, without compromising the historical aspect. In the southern portion archstudio tried to give the room a basic style through a partial restoration of the roof and walls. The buildings to the east and west were demolished and replaced by a wooden structure with a pitched roof.
archstudio streamlined the visualized structure of the building, with a flat “curvy corridor” that creates a smooth transition from the past to the present. The traditional architecture takes a half inside, half outside form, increasing the beauty of the garden. Dark and cramped spaces of the exterior contrasts with white interiors, spacious and light, creating a contrast that is a metaphor for a dialog between the past and the future. Punctuated by a series of courtyards, the path glass creates three tea houses with independent scenarios, forming a transition from public to private. The results are verandas windows, pictures on the wall, suspended curved screens and a bamboo forest.
all images © 王宁