BASAO Teahouse Panji: Exploring the Fujian Courtyard Aesthetic

Designed by the innovative team at Building Narrative, the captivating BASAO Teahouse Panji in Xiamen, China, offers a harmonious fusion of traditional Fujian courtyard architecture and modern design principles. This inviting tea house, completed in 2023, serves as a “living room for the city,” seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces to create a truly immersive experience for visitors.

Spacious living area with wood paneled ceiling, sleek furniture, and textured walls.
Warm-toned, minimalist interior with wooden paneling, pendant lighting, and built-in shelving.
A modern kitchen with a sleek, minimalist design featuring wood paneling, pendant lights, and a statement-making countertop.
A modern, minimalist interior design with wooden shelving, seating, and countertops.
Spacious, minimalist cafe interior with wood furnishings, large windows, and natural-toned decor.
Minimalist cafe interior with wooden furniture, shelving, and large windows overlooking the street.
Spacious cafe with wooden furniture, large windows, and minimalist decor.
Modern, minimalist interior featuring natural wood furnishings, ample shelving, and large windows.
Modern kitchen interior with wooden cabinetry, shelves, and overhead pendant lights.
Warm-toned, minimalist kitchen with wooden shelving, pendant lights, and a sleek, modern aesthetic.
Modern, minimalist interior with wooden shelves, seating, and decorative elements.
Sleek, modern kitchen with wood paneling, leather seating, and minimalist decor.
Minimalist lobby with a black table, chairs, and large windows overlooking the city.

About BASAO Teahouse Panji

Immersing in Tranquility: BASAO Teahouse Panji

Nestled in the heart of Xiamen, China, the BASAO Teahouse Panji is a captivating project designed by the talented team at Building Narrative. Unveiled in 2023, this real estate gem seamlessly blends urban sophistication with a serene, domestic ambiance.

Breaking Boundaries, Connecting Spaces

Strategically situated at the corner of a shopping mall, the teahouse initially faced the challenge of breaking through the mall’s facade and fostering a connection with the bustling street. However, Building Narrative’s innovative approach replaced the mirrored facade with clear glass, allowing natural light to flood the interior. By curating a palette of warm materials and inviting furniture, the designers cultivated a sense of hospitality and comfort, inviting patrons to linger and enjoy the outdoor seating that links the teahouse to the sunken terrace below.

Fujian Courtyard Charm

The interior layout of the teahouse is inspired by the traditional Fujian courtyard house. The centerpiece is an open courtyard, featuring a tiled floor and a mesmerizing lightbox ceiling that simulates the changing intensities of natural light throughout the day. Visitors are encouraged to adjust the loose chairs and tables, creating a flexible and personalized experience. A stone fountain anchors the courtyard, providing the soothing sound of running water.

Intimate Tea Lounge

In contrast with the open courtyard, the tea lounge offers a more intimate and domestic setting. Designed to emulate a living room, the lounge invites patrons to sink into the custom-designed armchairs and indulge in the traditional Kongfu tea ceremony. The Kongfu tea bar, sized for a single tea sommelier, becomes the focal point of the space, showcasing the intricate movements of the tea preparation ritual on a sleek black slate counter.

Furnishing the Narrative

At the BASAO Teahouse Panji, furniture plays a pivotal role in defining the spaces and creating a cohesive narrative. Oversized yet domestic-inspired elements, such as bookshelves, a kitchen island, and a communal dining table, frame the different activities and experiences. Instead of walls, these furniture-like-objects create a series of “scenes” that guide the visitors through the tea-making and drinking rituals.

A Living Room in the City

Ultimately, the BASAO Teahouse Panji offers a haven of tranquility and comfort in the heart of the bustling city. By blending urban sophistication with the warmth of a domestic setting, the project invites visitors to immerse themselves in the rich tradition of Fujian tea culture, creating a truly unique and memorable experience.

Photography by Wen Studio
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- by Matt Watts