‘buduo teahouse’ in wanmu shazi is a converted cement factory
the ‘Buduo Teahouse’ features repurposed cement cylinders
Several years ago, while looking for a new site for his carpentry workshop, designer Wanmu Shazi spotted an abandoned cement factory in Xiamen, China. Sitting at the foot of a hill surrounded by verdant topography in the distance, the architecture reveals a suburban context with nearby farmland.
During renovation, Shazi decided to retain most of the factory’s original structures, including its giant cylindrical cement towers. Their monolithic appearance encouraged him to work with other designers and artists who helped transform cylindrical interiors into unique spaces that would attract like-minded creatives. As a result, the ‘Buduo Teahouse’ was born.
all images © 1988 Photography Studio / A Qi (unless otherwise noted)
a creative hub evoking spatial expression + intimate materiality
After repeated interventions over two years, the converted factory now includes a 15-meter-high “Meditation Teahouse”, an artist’s studio, a carpentry showroom and the home and workspace of Shazi, among other programs. During the process, the designer realized that it wasSometimes space is like people. With a beautiful figure, good complexion and good temperament, there is no need for much decoration.
Perhaps such conviction prompted him to name the project “Buduo,” which roughly translates to “not much” in Chinese. Visitors can indeed see the little ornamentation that fills the renovated interiors. Instead, the “Buduo Teahouse” conveys pure spatial expressions and intimate material finishes.
A narrow wooden bridge leads to the main entrance, where visitors pass through a rusty steel and glass door. Inside, a foyer houses a tree crowned with a skylight at its center, providing a distinct and instantly soothing ambiance. Like a courtyard, the foyer connects and leads to five other circular rooms through doorless passageways that echo each other to produce a sense of layering with unique spatial rhythms.
Shazi embellished the six areas with interior landscapes and framed views of the mountain landscape through subtly cut-out wall openings, creating a unique interplay of light and shadow. To unify this spatial vibe, the architect combined tactile wooden floors with wide, thick walls, plain-textured upholstery, hidden vents near the baseboards, and unadorned ceilings, further accentuating the circular design.
aesthetic simplicity, human scale and inclusive “qi”
Besides spatial simplicity, the designer also considered the human scale to ensure physical comfort: ‘During the renovation, I repeatedly scoured the interiors to find the most appropriate scale and positions for the window openings, hoping to create a final layout that made visitors feel ” enveloped” by space. »
That said, Shazi used the Chinese concept of ‘Qi’ (energy, material force) to create the spatial ambience of the ‘Buduo Teahouse’. He believes that good design should focus on essence rather than form to stimulate both emotional and sensory experiences. ‘In this space, people can’t help but slow down. The soft sofa placed in the corner invites visitors to sit down and relax. Humor and serenity mingle here, giving the impression that time stands still.
In terms of the program, the converted factory offers enough space for the carpentry workshop of the designer named “Wanmu Gongfang”. More importantly, it offers a range of distinctive spaces to accommodate creative professionals from around the world, including venues for exhibitions and exchanges.
With a mindset exploring spatial roles, Wanmu Shazi has established a creative incubation chain – inviting the public to learn more about China’s culture and design industries while providing a platform for growth and support of young creatives.
Photo © Xiao Ya
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