Shanghai-based Neri & Hu took cues from the icons, mainly images with the Jinshan Temple in Fuzhou, China, while designing this rammed concrete and copper teahouse. It is a historic building representing a unique example of a 12th-century Buddhist temple structure built on a rock in the middle of the Min River in China. Envisioned as an urban artefact, the tea house- named ‘Relic Shelter’ adopts and assimilates the unexceptional heritage when rapid innovations and developments have eroded traditional culture and identity. Surrounded by a river, the building contains an architectural relic from the Qing dynasty. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) presents here exciting information about the project. Take a glance:
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The firm’s idea was to build a structure atop a rock surrounded by water like Jinshan Temple. The Fuzhou teahouse is raised above a rammed concrete base, with a sweeping copper roof reflecting the roofline of the sheltered relic.
The core material- rammed concrete in a terracotta hue gives a modern tribute to the ancient earthen housings of the district, accentuating a rare monumentality.
Visitors can see the two appearances of the building- the standing form and its reflection in the surrounding water.
Decorative Carvings And Elaborate Joinery in the Interiors
The ‘Relic Shelter’ interiors are a wooden structure of a high-ranking Qing dynasty official’s residence, completed with adorned and intricate carvings.
The Hui-style structure, which is repositioned from Anhui to Fuzhou, is preserved as the inhabitable centrepiece of the new building inside the magnificent hall.
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The Interplay of Light and Dark
When the visitors enter the grand hall where the ancient relic is placed, they may see a series of contrasts in design: light and heavy, bright and dark, rough and refined.
Skylights punctuate the roof bringing the daylight into the depths of the enclosure and brighten the valuable artefact on the showcase.
The hovering metal roof is elevated 50 cm off the rock-solid base by copper-clad binds to present a sliver of constant light around its edge.
Covered around the antique wooden structure, the mezzanine area allows people to see and appreciate elaborated woodworking at eye level.
A Secondary arrival lobby contains a dome, a sunken courtyard and tasting rooms in the basement level.
A carved oculus topped by the glass can be seen above the rotunda immersed underneath the pool in the courtyard above. It filters the sunlight through a thin film of pool water, creating a play of reflections.
Architecture Firm: Neri & Hu Design and Research Office
Location: Fuzhou, China
Area: 500 m²
Photographs: Hao Chen
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