Tea House — Architecture Competition by UNI.xyz

UNI announces ‘Tea House’ — Architecture Competition to Challenge to design a cafe for tea lovers in England, United Kingdom — UNI.xyz

Fig: 1 — Tea is the number one caffeinated drink in the UK for many years with 84% of the population enjoying at least one cup every day.

Over a cuppa tea

“Tea … is a religion of the art of life.” — Kakuzo Okakura

Beverages are one of the major attractions to people irrespective of their age, ethnicity, or gender, they hold a very important place in the culinary and food industry. The quality, variety, and innovative methods are changed and recreated with passing time in beverage production. But what remains is its love by people all around the globe.

Tea has transcended beyond it being a favorite drink. That is quite evident from the huge statistics of tea drinkers around the world. About 297 billion liters of tea are drunk all around the world. Making itself the second most drunk beverage after water, and it makes itself top in most people’s favorite lists. Sometimes it’s the ice, lemon, sugar, or milk; combined however one prefers. But still adored by all. There is hardly any specific occasion for which tea couldn’t be served. It can be drunk anywhere and anytime with anyone you like. Something which makes it a magical potion that can influence people worldwide.

Fig: 2 — The evolution of tea culture in Britain started from tea being the ceremonial drink in the 18th century to today when it is the staple drink consumed in every household as part of a daily ritual.

Tea tales

As the song goes, by Jack Buchanan, in England, “everything stops for tea”.

There is hardly anyone in the whole United kingdom who will ever deny a generous cup of tea. Tea has become more a way of the British lifestyle than a mere delicacy that they love to savor.

Today, British everyday life includes an afternoon tea time especially reserved for tea. And the love for tea has been observed in the British way of living since generations gone and many to come, as there had been tremendous variations observed in the way of tea making and its offering.

But what hasn’t changed a bit is the love for it in any region of the UK, and this household drink has expanded itself years back into the commercial and social context; by creating spaces that are specially dedicated to tea, its different types, and brewing methods. In the end, there isn’t any better thing than to have a place for tea amidst its lovers.

Fig: 3 — There are almost 1500 types of teas in Britain and as tea enthusiasts are plenty, commercial establishments can capitalize on this favored trend to create inventive outlets for tea drinks.

Brief of the Competition

The idea of expanding the tea from the kitchen of the normal household to bringing it to a social level. It is a transition that can be created through space that will not just offer tea to its lovers. But will also unite them in a place they would love to visit often.

Brief: This challenge aims to create a tea house that will act as a café where a variety of tea will be served to the people who love to savor it.

Creating a space that will bring the tea lovers together in a cozy and warm cafe that offers the luxury and space to spend time with their favorite beverage. Space like this is meant to create a kind of environment that will offer people to experience the tea-savoring process through a variety of senses and will have a space to catch up with their friends and others.

Design Objectives

Concept: Explore how the tea savoring experience can be innovated through various architectural interventions. Change the narrative and understanding of tea houses completely.

Connect: This tea house design is expected to evoke a feeling of comfort and warmth which would ensure the attraction of the people to this place.

Engage: Study and try to create a kind of environment that will help aid the experience through different senses and use them for the people’s disposal.

Context: The design must respond to the (existing) site conditions. The wider socio-cultural, economic and environmental settings are to be considered in the design approach.

The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants can free to form their programmatic outline according to the user group.


Fig: 4 — Site image

•Location: Westlands, Bellingham, Hexham, UK
•Area: 468 sq.m
•Height limit: G+2
•FAR (Floor Area Ratio): 0.5
•Ground coverage: 15%
•Coordinates: 55°08'39.5"N 2°15'28.8"W

The history of tea is rich in the United Kingdom, even as a foreign ingredient. It was introduced to the country in the 18th century, and since then has shaped the lifestyle of people by inducing a lively tea culture in the local households. The British consume around 60 billion cups of tea every year. With time the culture has expanded to social outings and recreation.

The site is located in Northumberland County, UK. The region is rich in natural landscapes and low-density settlements.
The site is in the village of Bellingham, surrounded by a mixed neighborhood. The Pennine way lane connects multiple commercial outlets in the area and also offers access to the site. The site is on a traffic route but with views of local structures, green landscapes, and lush greenery.

Area Programme

The program is to be designed for 30 people. The program is to be designed for The design space ideas:

  • Sitting area
  • Serving counter
  • Billing counter
  • Kitchen
  • Storage
  • Open sitting spaces

These spaces listed above are a list of ideas of what kind of spaces can be included in a tea house. These are provided as a guideline to the participants. Any additional and innovative space is to be proposed by the participant. Including other ancillary spaces.

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this

page: Tea house | Interaction Design Competition on UNI | About

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Originally published at https://uni.xyz.



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