Located in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, the tea house in Li Garden was developed by Chinese architect’s office Atelier Deshaus. The building owns a large courtyard towards the entrance gate and sits in the northwest corner where a paulownia tree grows.
Atelier Deshaus used the space around the paulownia by cutting the volume facing the tree into an L-shape, creating a small backyard that functions as an outdoor room complementary to the tea house. The typical perception of a small and light tea house was retained by the 60mm steel tubes that have been incorporated in square cross-sections all over the building. Around the edges of the pavilion, a steel construction forms a bench that crosses the threshold between inside and outside, appearing to hover above the ground. Ribbed glass was used for clerestory windows and incorporated below the bench seating. The roof is made of steel insulation boards fixed by an anti-ribbed steel panel to keep the roof smooth. Black steel permeates through the building which contrasts the warm timber flooring and joinery, as well as the white-painted ceiling.