05. May 2011

Time for tea
Cha Cha tea shop in Taipei/TWA

Text: Alison Ritter
Photos: Andrew Jaques

Drinkers of tea – black, green, herbal, fruit – outweigh the global number of coffee drinkers by far. Tea means different things to different people in different cultures. It can be exquisite, healing, calming, convivial or just plain thirst-quenching. In every case it is refreshing and warming, even in the hottest of countries. Synaesthetes would doubtless associate tea with the sound of a cello and warm colours. Whether the new tea store in Taipei has engaged a cellist to support sales remains to be seen, but warm, mellow colours feature strongly and are skilfully enhanced through the lighting, creating the perfect ambience for a tea store.
The new concept tea store Cha Cha Thé is located in a trendy district of Taipei, celebrating all aspects of the rich history of the Chinese tea-drinking culture. For this new venture, the client, a well known fashion designer, chose the same design team she had engaged to launch her successful fashion boutiques. The site for their now240 square metre flagship store was an existing space containing undeniably low ceilings and limited natural light. The underside of the concrete beams measured only two metres above floor level. To deal with the limitations of the space, the architects cleverly adhered to a limited palette to reduce visual clutter. The base colour was white, which created some challenges for the lighting designers, who were aiming to create a visually interesting and modulated space. This aim was achieved through the careful integration of light sources within the various joinery elements which placed light only where it was needed, any spill light providing sufficient ambient illumination. There were three types of product displays and each was lit slightly differently to reflect the respective use. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 76.

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