HEYTEA Yongning Alley Store, Xi’an by Leaping Creative

The Boundary Between the Old and the New

Project Specs


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Given the long history of Xi’an and the ancient Chinese elements found throughout the city, we were eager to create an inspiring experiential space that would stir up images of the “ancient capital of Xi’an” in people’s minds yet also convey a new lifestyle.

▼城墙脚下的全新体验空间,new store by the ancient wall ©立品设计


HEYTEA has created an original “inspired flagship store” in Xi’an: a new experiential space located near the Xi’an City Wall of Yongning Gate. We anticipate it will provide a powerful combination of Xi’an’s regional culture and a new tea-drinking lifestyle.

▼店铺外观,exterior view ©立品设计

▼户外座位,the outdoor seats ©立品设计


The historic city wall is just across the street from this flagship store, so we incorporated “exploration and harmony” into the core of our design. The designer conceived of a store facade that is light, transparent and as large as possible to match the city wall. Outside and inside the space, there are lines and curves as well as the presence of opposite elements: light and shadow, history and future, and the desires to travel and linger.

▼与城墙进行对话,interacting with the ancient wall ©立品设计


界与无界 | Boundary or no boundary


▼空间生成,diagram ©立品设计

In ancient times, the city wall of Xi’an was used to physically separate the interior of the city from the exterior. Today, we see it as the interface between living cultures, both old and new. In terms of layout, the original shear wall and columns are taken as the boundary wall separating inside and outside spaces. In addition, the look and feel of the wall are, in essence, “hidden”. With the modern fog-faced stainless steel and large floor-to-ceiling glazing, the outer side of the boundary wall visually echoes the city wall. The shadow of the trees reflected on the wall is mottled, and the interior and exterior landscape blend seamlessly, hiding the boundary between the two.

▼透过玻璃看城墙,view of the ancient wall through the glass ©立品设计


The use of historical elements by the designer is not a pure reproduction, but rather they have drawn upon the essence of these elements to produce a modern re-creation, enabling the new space to connect urban history and present-day reality.

▼雾面不锈钢和大面积落地玻璃窗,the modern fog-faced stainless steel and large floor-to-ceiling glazing ©立品设计

▼树影斑驳,里外交融的无界空间,space without boundary ©立品设计


The interior of the space is dominated by the sandstone yellow prominent in Xi’ an, which is then embellished with silver gray and bright yellow. The bright yellow serves as a metaphor for the ancient city wall and the royal capital, while the silver gray represents a keen sense of the future.

▼入口,the entrance ©立品设计


▼分析动图,diagram ©立品设计

At the entrance of the store, the order counter has a futuristic, metallic look and is placed in the center. The typically narrow unit has been enlarged and made to be curved with circular components added so as to present a friendly interface that allows customers to feel welcome. In addition, the order desk and the pick-up area are separate, optimizing the experience of both. The circular order counter is surrounded by square walls of large yellow sandstone. The collision of the two shapes and materials offers a visual experience that is impressive and inspiring.

▼金属点单台,the order counter with a futuristic, metallic look ©立品设计

▼环形的点单台被大面积的黄砂岩组成的方形墙面包裹,两种形态和材质的碰撞营造出灵感记忆点,details ©立品设计


The inner side of the boundary wall faces a long and narrow space. In this limited area, the metal wall is used as a functional space partition as well as a source of experience scenarios and potential mood shifts.

▼ 具有标志性意义的拱门被金属材质包裹,宛如一道时空之门,the metal wall as a functional space partition ©立品设计


There is an iconic arch encased in metal, like a portal to another time and space. Passing through this arch and entering the inner space, customers are greeted by custom-made and handmade yellow bricks. The raised dots processed along the mold may remind customers of the scale dots found only on the armor of Qin-dynasty Terracotta Warriors, conveying an abstract image of history and culture.

▼拱门后的内里空间,inner space behind the arch ©立品设计


灵感之光 | Light of inspiration


▼概念动图,diagram ©立品设计

HEYTEA’s pursuit of inspiration and respect for regional culture requires us to hold a buffer zone between the old and the new so as to create a new experience space that integrates local culture.

▼看向内部用餐区,view of the dining area ©立品设计


▼源自丝绸之路画卷中的编织图腾及元素被运用到现代家具之中,diagram ©立品设计

In front of the metal partition wall is a set of irregularly shaped furniture, which is composed of translucent yellow resin and weathered cave stone. The patterns on the seat fabric are inspired by the weaving totems and other elements found in a scroll depicting the Silk Road. The interior space is scattered with irregular stone chairs. All of these are in harmony to capture the ruggedness and heritage of Xi’an. Sunlight flowing through the floor-to-ceiling glazing illuminates the yellow walls, creating a geometric shape with light and shade that changes according to the angle of the sunlight. Such details add brilliance to the space and highlight the beauty of every moment in a day.

▼不同材质打造的用餐环境,dining area of different materials ©立品设计


The tables and chairs in the store’s exterior area are processed by using a large plane cutting technique, and the tables are made with a transparent yellow resin. The effect of this design is that as the golden sunlight gradually illuminates the city wall, a dreamlike space materializes near the wall. The tables and chairs in the store’s exterior area are processed by using a large plane cutting technique, and the tables are made with a transparent yellow resin. The effect of this design is that as the golden sunlight gradually illuminates the city wall, a dreamlike space materializes near the wall.

▼夜景,night view ©立品设计


Xi’an is not only a city rich in its profound cultural heritage, but also a place in which new lifestyles are emerging. We hope such a space could provide new inspiration to invigorate the city.

▼多元材质碰撞 呈现丰富的肌理质感,details ©立品设计

设计总监:郑铮 Zen
主案设计:刘永成 Wilson
参与设计:胡锐润 Running、李嘉俊、陈晓雯
项目经理:陈常 CC、尤东芝

Design team
Design Company:Leaping Creative
Leader designer & Team:
Design Director: Zen Zheng
Chief Designer: Wilson Liu
Designer: Running Hu、Jiajun Li、Xiaowen Chen
Project Managers:CC Chen、DongZhi You
Project name:HEYTEA Yongning Alley Store, Xi’an
Photographer:Minjie Wang

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