building narrative’s interiors for basao teahouse panji evoke traditional fujian tea courtyards
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building narrative’s interiors for basao teahouse panji evoke traditional fujian tea courtyards

Building Narrative blends traditional and modern tea culture

 

Located in Xiamen, Fujian, BASAO teahouse Panji marks the third collaboration between BASAO and Building Narrative, exploring the balance between traditional and contemporary tea culture. The design integrates traditional Fujian courtyard architecture elements with modern requirements, focusing on three scales: urban, interior, and furniture.

 

The teahouse, positioned at a key intersection in central Xiamen, aims to create a ‘living room for the city.’ Building Narrative replaced the shopping mall’s mirrored facade with clear glass to connect the interior with the street. The use of natural materials, warm lighting, and inviting furniture enhances the sense of hospitality. Outdoor seating further strengthens the connection between the teahouse, a sunken terrace, and the city.

building narrative's interiors for basao teahouse panji evoke traditional fujian tea courtyards
shopping mall’s mirrored facade was replaced with clear glass | all images by Wen Studio Photography

 

 

BASAO Panji celebrates tea culture in Xiamen’s urban setting

 

The interior layout mirrors a traditional Fujian courtyard house. The courtyard, the tallest space, features a tiled floor and a lightbox ceiling that simulates an open sky, adjusting light intensity throughout the day. Visitors can rearrange the loose chairs and tables beneath the lightbox. A stone fountain anchors the courtyard experience and adds to the ambiance with the sound of running water. The tea lounge contrasts the open courtyard with its intimate, domestic atmosphere, featuring custom-designed armchairs and a Kongfu tea bar. This bar, sized for a single tea sommelier, emphasizes the theatricality of the tea ceremony with a black slate counter.

 

Furniture plays a key role in defining the space at BASAO Panji. Oversized elements, visible from the street, mimic domestic items such as bookshelves, a kitchen island, cabinets, a communal dining table, and other household furniture. These pieces create a seamless transition between the courtyard and lounge, framing different activities as a series of ‘scenes’ for tea making and drinking. Building Narrative‘s strategy aims to offer domestic comfort while showcasing local tea traditions.

building narrative's interiors for basao teahouse panji evoke traditional fujian tea courtyards
Building Narrative blends traditional and modern tea culture at BASAO Teahouse Panji

building narrative's interiors for basao teahouse panji evoke traditional fujian tea courtyards
the design integrates traditional Fujian courtyard architecture with contemporary requirements

building narrative's interiors for basao teahouse panji evoke traditional fujian tea courtyards
positioned at a key intersection in central Xiamen, the teahouse aims to create a ‘living room for the city’

building narrative's interiors for basao teahouse panji evoke traditional fujian tea courtyards
natural materials, warm lighting, and inviting furniture enhance the sense of hospitality at BASAO Panji