The Rammed Concrete And Copper Teahouse by Neri & Hu Restores Chinese Traditional Culture and Identity | Fuzhou

The Rammed Concrete And Copper Teahouse by Neri & Hu Restores Chinese Traditional Culture and Identity | Fuzhou

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:  

Also Read: Adjaye Associates Designs Eight Rammed Earth Domed Structures For Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in South Africa


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.

Neri & Hu RestoresThe core material- rammed concrete in a terracotta hue gives a modern tribute to the ancient earthen housings of the district, accentuating a rare monumentality.

Neri & Hu Restores

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.

Neri & Hu Restores 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.

Also Read: Mumbai-Based Architecture Firm MorphLab Uses Rammed Earth As A Core Building Material in This Tropical House Featuring Waterfalls and Secret Pool | Shifting Earth

Neri & Hu Restores

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. 

Neri_Hu-ProjectSkylights punctuate the roof bringing the daylight into the depths of the enclosure and brighten the valuable artefact on the showcase.

Neri & Hu RestoresThe 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.

Neri & Hu RestoresCovered around the antique wooden structure, the mezzanine area allows people to see and appreciate elaborated woodworking at eye level. 

Neri & Hu Restores

A Secondary arrival lobby contains a dome, a sunken courtyard and tasting rooms in the basement level.

Neri & Hu Restores

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. 

Project Details

Architecture Firm: Neri & Hu Design and Research Office
Location: Fuzhou, China
Area: 500 m²
Year: 2021
Photographs: Hao Chen

More Images

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