Located in Taichung’s West District, Zhao Zhao Tea Lounge by Soar Design Studio aims to highlight tea appreciation and the rituals behind it. The owner, who has been immersed in tea culture since his childhood has more than 30 years of experience and wants to share Taiwanese tea with diverse groups of people in different ways. This led to the idea of having a tea appreciation space where Taiwanese tea culture can sink its roots.
Taking into consideration the owner’s objective, the design practice, led by Yu-Jui Chang, set up a tea roasting area on the first floor, where guests would be enticed by the fragrance as they observe master tea-making. The place right next to the roasting area allows guests to enjoy the lingering smell of charcoal baking and tea. To introduce more nature into the space, the interior architect opened up the once-closed backyard and planted more trees in front and behind the house. Sipping a cup of tea here is given a ceremonial reverence by way of a ritual that appeals to the five senses – from beautiful sights to pleasant experiences of taste, touch, sound, and smell.
“Change” is the theme of interior design here, reflecting the experiences in high-altitude tea gardens, where the clouds, fogs, lights and shadows, fauna and flora are always pure albeit everchanging. On the old walls, the design team has applied hand craftsmanship of “polishing”, “carving” and “knocking” to mimic different textures to approach nature leading to mottled walls that uneven and filled with pores, and that also preserve the marks of time with visual and tactile triggers.
With the sunlight and natural air flowing in through the big windows, the walls of various textures present their inherent qualities and feelings as if “changeable”. It’s a salute to nature, revealing the essence of the old house — a bare space without over decoration.
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Photos: Hey! Cheese
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