BASAO Panji Teahouse
Wen Studio
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
FurnitureKnights Craft
LightingLeedarson
TilesNanchow
FurnitureSingChan Design
Furniture, LightingStellar works
LightingWUU

Product Spec Sheet
Furniture
Lighting
Tiles
by Nanchow
Furniture
Furniture, Lighting
Lighting
by WUU

BASAO Panji Teahouse

Building Narrative as Architects

A living room for the city that reinterprets Fujian tea culture.

Located in Xiamen, Fujian, BASAO Panji marks the third collaboration between BASAO and designers Building Narrative and the teahouse explores the dualities between traditional and contemporary tea culture. Accordingly, the space concepts borrow from traditional Fujian courtyard architecture and contemporary requirements considered on three scales - the urban, interior and furniture scales.

photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio
photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio

Urban Scale
The primary design objective was to design “a living room for the city.” As the teahouse is located on grade at the corner of a hermetic shopping mall facing a key intersection in central Xiamen, the first challenge was to break through the mall facade and connect the interior with the street. To this end, Building Narrative replaced the mirrored facade with clear glass and developed a palette of natural materials, warm lighting and furniture pieces to project a sense of hospitality and domesticity. Outdoor seating allows patrons to linger outside and reinforces the connection from the teahouse to a sunken terrace below and the city beyond.

photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio
photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio

Interior Scale
The interior layout is organized like a traditional Fujian courtyard house. The courtyard is the tallest space with tiled floor and lightbox ceiling that suggests an open sky. The lightbox is programmed to cast different intensities of light from morning to night. Beneath the lightbox, visitors are free to adjust the loose chairs and tables as needed. A stone fountain anchors the courtyard experience with the sound of running water.

In contrast with the open courtyard, the tea lounge is an intimate and domestic space. Like one’s living room, you are invited to linger and sink into the custom designed armchairs. Kongfu tea is a style of tea drinking native to Fujian, and a bar dedicated to the tradition anchors the lounge. The Kongfu tea bar is sized to suit a single tea sommelier, who serves the potent brew in tasting cups over several rounds. The hand movements of the sommelier performing a Kongfu tea ceremony are rehearsed and foregrounded by the bar’s black slate counter – inducing a theatrical experience for the tea drinker. Through variying light, space and materials, a different atmosphere is creaeted between the courtyard and lounge.

photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio
photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio

Furniture Scale
In addition to the urban and interior scale, furniture plays a prominent role in defining the space at BASAO Panji. Although oversized to be noticed from the street outside, the interior elements mimic what you may find at home, book shelves, kitchen island and cabinets, a large communal dining table and domestic furniture. There are no walls between the courtyard and lounge. Instead, the oversized furniture-like-objects define the spaces: framing the different activities as a series of ‘scenes’ to experience tea making and drinking. This became the key interior design strategy.

Like a living room in the heart of the city, BASAO Panji offers domestic comfort while staging local tea traditions for patrons today.

photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio
photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio

Team:
Interior Design: Building Narrative
Design team: Jeffrey Cheng, Jessica Yau, Kwan Chak Mathew Man, Mavis Liu, Sebastianus Virell, Zhencheng Leung
Photography: Wen Studio

photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio
photo_credit Wen Studio
Wen Studio

Material Used:
1. Materials: Nanchow Tiles, Oak, Fujian Sesame Granite, Aged Metal, Hemp Rope
2. Furniture: Knight’s Craft, Stellar Works, Singchan Design
3. Lighting: WUU, Leedarson, Stellar Works   

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