leckie studio's cha le teahouse in vancouver references traditional chinese apothecaries

leckie studio's cha le teahouse in vancouver references traditional chinese apothecaries

leckie studio’s ‘cha le teahouse’ shop in vancouver is a place to share knowledge and delight in the culture of tea and to learn about the process that goes behind the highly elaborated creation of tea — from growing the plants to the curating, mixing, and blending. inspired by traditional chinese apothecaries, the team created a modern interpretation of a medicinal and spiritual place.

all images © ema peter



materiality is central to the tea ceremony — beyond the sensual qualities of the tea, the interplay between natural elements in the space and objects of the ceremony equally informs the experience. the ceremony of exchange and the concentration of awareness towards posture and gestures is articulated through simple objects.



the senses are heightened by focusing on a single, humble material — plywood — and transforming it through a carefully considered and rigorous approach to detailing. the sculptural mass and quality of the ‘tea bar’ creates and shapes the space around it. leckie studio team found inspiration in the modernist plywood sculptures of donald judd, in which the material is elevated through an attention to minimal assembly connections and geometric proportion.



cha le teahouse makes use of a restrained quantity and monochromatic tonal qualities in the materials used. humble archetypical materials forged into sleek, linear forms acknowledging the project’s rationalistic aesthetic while expressing a fresh interpretation of an apothecary through the creation of a myriad of small shelving compartments.



whereas the ordering structure of the space may be described as rigid and orthogonal, the architects intentionally softened perceptual hard edges by choosing a warm, light palette that adds a sophisticated quality to the overall reading of the space. the teahouse adopts a harmonic and subdued sense of lighting throughout the space.



the specified panel lights are coordinated to integrate into the architectural grid, delivering a softened light and establishing a harmonic grid of voids that optically multiply the space. embedded within the grid, the light hovers in a mysterious manner, blurring over the crisp lines of the entire volume. natural light floods into the space through the shop-front, connecting the teahouse to the street-level patio.




designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,536 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample