A contemporary teashop design based on Chinese traditions


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Virginia Tech


Tea is the world's oldest and currently most popular beverage in the world. Tea drinking has long been an important aspect of Chinese culture and has evolved as an art form called the "tea ceremony". With the growing interest in Asian culture, ethnic food, and the health benefits of tea, the tea market in the United States has increased dramatically. These developments, along with the recent growth in coffeehouses/shops, indicate a potential for similar success for teashops.

The purpose of this study was to design a contemporary teashop deriving design inspiration from traditional Chinese culture and teahouse design. An existing site in a university town was selected for the study. Historical factors were identified through review literature and visual records of historic teahouses and architecture. Photos of contemporary Chinese teahouses provided information on teahouse operation and layout of functional areas. Observation of four local coffee shops was completed to collect data on function and design. Data were used to determine the workable solutions for a teashop designed for an American market.

Based on the data collected, a design concept and programming requirements were developed. Design solutions that were found to be suitable and advantageous to enhance the concept were incorporated into the proposed design. Interior space layout, teashop logo, lighting fixtures, and façade design were developed. The design solutions were presented through plans, elevations, detail drawings, and perspective drawings.



culture, Design, teahouse, Chinese, Interior design, tea