The Forbidden City Red-wall Teahouse / CutscapeArchitecture

Building in the courtyard

Project Specs

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太庙茶室位于紫禁城东南角的劳动人民文化宫院内,这里曾是明清两代皇帝祭祖的地方。墙内是原来皇家的圣地,墙外则是北京古城的基本背景肌理——老百姓居住的胡同。不知从哪个年代开始,这段东围墙截止到了这里,在墙东外侧的地下排水涵沟上盖起了泵房、库房和临时宿舍,遮蔽住了这段宫墙的末端,墙内也成了劳动人民自由出入休闲息憩的地方。通过对宫墙内外景观肌理的重新梳理,我们掀掉了遮蔽宫墙的屋盖,将周边的景观以院落的形式介入到建筑中来,造就了建筑中的院落,同时也是院落中的建筑。我们希望以轻松的方式,接续起一座连接传统与现代、边界与空间、宏伟与质朴、神圣与世俗、隐蔽与开放、严肃与荒谬之间交流的桥梁,以引发人们重新思考空间、景观与设计在我们这个时代真正有意义的价值所在。

▼主入口 Main Entrance

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The Red-wall Teahouse is situated inside the People’s Cultural Palace which used to be the Ancestral Temple – a royal memorial temple for ancestors southeast to the Forbidden City. The palace wall on the east side of the temple wrapped around the Forbidden City as the second ring wall in which Tian’an Men functioned as the main gate. The wall had long been a symbol of social class division in old China, now nothing but a spatial threshold separating the imperial garden from the Hutong houses to the east. During modern authority transitions, undocumented damage took down northern half of the wall.

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▼原状 Original Condition

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▼南房结构 South Teahouse structure

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The renovation project took place right at the breakage of the wall. Two shabby warehouses were left on site unattended, one attached to the red imperial wall and the other one set around three meters away north to the first one. As an immediate design reaction, the roof of the first warehouse was tipped down to reveal the body of the palace wall on the Hutong side. Then a cluster of freestanding steel-frame tearooms were inserted into the middle of the ‘unroofed garden’ introducing courtyards in between the old and the new structures. The exterior of the north teahouse which had been kept in better shape was insulated with new cover material. Its interior was opened up to match modern program needs. It is, then, through such interplay of old and new, volume and void, tradition and modern, solemnity and absurdness that unprecedented readings on local environment start to emerge.

▼(left)前院 frontyard (right) 庭院 Courtyard

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▼(left)后院 Backyard (right) 南房屋顶 South Teahouse Roof View

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茶室由七个独特且独立的房间组成。像城市中的细胞,虽然微小,却能在城市中留下印记。在这样一个特定的环境,我们所要表达的,正是这种过程。我们基本上保留了现有建筑的形态,利用原有门窗洞口向内生长,形成房子中的房子,作为更为私密的茶室,仿佛是新生的蘑菇;又如建筑下面暗河中飞起的精灵,环绕着游走于两座建筑周边,留下的水痕,由门窗渗入建筑,便形成了这些茶室。在建筑内部的每一个茶室以及消毒间等功能用房都是一个独立的空间,与建筑屋顶脱开,有独立的墙壁和顶棚,作为第二层表皮,自成一体,私密安静,互不干扰。而它们之间以及它们与建筑之间的‘缝隙’便形成了交通和展示空间,这便使建筑内部空间被极大丰富,产生了很多可以探索的角落,在狭小的空间中通过围合界面获取更多的空间感受,所谓小中见大。

The teahouse consists of seven unique rooms snapping to each other exhibiting a form of cell division. Visitors must enter those rooms through existing doorways and window openings in the brick wall. New structures grow back in like bio-cells metabolizing on urban scale. At the threshold where the sublime royal garden meets the austere Hutong daily lives, architectural gesture is unstable, ever-changing always on a status of readjusting and adapting. Tea ceremony is only the basic type of activity. Occasional social events, such as art exhibition, charity auction, festival ceremonies etc. will be able to bring local residents closer to the traditional built environment while inject modern values to the dysfunctional ancient temple.

As major façade material, brushed stainless steel sheets and glass panel are placed in different angles to the red palace wall reflecting its raw conditions. When one enters the courtyard, one sees the over height of the solid brick palace wall reflected on the teahouse exterior on human scale as if many pieces of the palace wall standing on freewill. Modern materials do not seek to establish autonomy but to engage cultural heritage with respect.

Interior of the tearooms is finished differently with bamboo sheets, white marble, copper and acrylic tubes. Each room adapts a unique character dissolving architecture into smaller pieces. The experience of rambling inside the teahouse becomes effectively walking across a village as if the overall size of the space is enlarged.

▼(left)吧台reception (right) 北房内景North Teahouse interior

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▼北房内景North Teahouse interior

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▼北房内景North Teahouse interior

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▼中庭 Middle Courtyard

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▼中庭 Middle Courtyard

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▼(left)云室Cloud Tearoom (right) 主入口 Viewing main entrance from courtyard

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▼竹室 Bamboo Tearoom

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项目名称: 紫禁城红墙茶室
地点:北京紫禁城内太庙
年份:2012 – 2014年
建成时间:2014
建筑师:张弘、张赫天
设计团队:张诚、潘弘彬、连晨、刘子玥、安鹏浩、孙际华、经杰,韩晓伟
建筑面积:280m2
摄影:王祎、陈溯、张赫天
建材供应:大庄、汇丽、华丽联合等

Project name: The Forbidden City Red-wall Teahouse
Location: the Ancestral Temple, the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Year: 2012-2014
Completion Date: 2014
Architect: Hong ZHANG, Hetian ZHANG
Design Team: Cheng ZHANG, Hongbin PAN, Cheng LIAN, Ziyue LIU, Penghao AN, Jihua SUN, Jie JING, Xiaowei HAN
Floor Area: 280m2
Photography: Yi WANG, Su CHEN, Hetian ZHANG
Supplier: Dasso (www.dassogroup.com), Huili (www.huili.com), HLLH (www.hllh.com.cn), etc.

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