By placing tea-making and cake-baking within a lab-like environment, Ramoprimo gives a ceremonial activity a contemporary spin.
Beijing-based architectural design practice Ramoprimo’s spatial concept for the 50-sq-m space of tea shop and pastry bakery ThéATRE takes its cues from stage designs and chemical labs. Housed inside a Shanghai mall, the café-cum-store features a sculptural, wavy steel sheet ceiling that resembles theatre curtains going up. Inside, brushed stainless steel and white glossy ceramic tiles were chosen to express the cleanliness and efficiency of scientific spaces. Outside, at the 60 sq-m patio, a custom-made system of curved sofa benches makes a reference to tea-terraced hills. Two solid marble boxes, in their turn, make up the main bar, where customers can choose sweets from the generous fridge display while looking into the open kitchen.
As Chen Xiaohu and Li Baolong, founders of Shenzhen studio BloomDesign, argued in a recent interview, spatial design can be a strong means in revitalizing traditional tea culture amongst Asian youth. One important point in achieving such a goal, they said, is finding a way to express the ‘contemporary’ using brand space as a communication medium. ‘We fully consider the consumption habits and psychology of young customers and aim to reshape the relationship between brands and consumers through space and experience,’ said Xiaohu…