in daning, a dense newly developed urban area in west shanghai, raams architecture studio has designed the first ‘mini cuppa’ tea shop. with tea being consumed mostly by the elder generation in china, the architects’ aspiration is to create an inclusive environment where everyone can go, relax and enjoy delicious beverages and meals. the shop is organized with the help of a white illustrated square module that gives structure to the interior, while adorning it in a fresh way.

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all images courtesy of raams architecture studio



raams architecture studio brings back a reinterpretation of the classic block modular system from frank lloyd wright to solve the space. the design uses this singular architectural element to define the scale of the interior, and to create a flexible and textured environment. the blocks are stacked on top of each other, in parallel rows using magnets. the simple assembled system can also be adapted to future shops, creating infinite layouts and making each feel similar to the previous one, but also new and unique.

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the modular system also extends to the shop front, this time in a larger size, forming three inner windows that frame the store. this XL façade is an eye-catching feature that attracts the attention of passers-by, and distinguishes ‘mini cuppa’ from the neighboring stores.

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environmental graphic design is utilized as a way to enhance the customer experience through the visual translation of the brand ideas into the space. the architects have used symbology as a hidden language and art expression to create specific messages that help connect visitors with the atmosphere of the shop. more than 400 blocks were illustrated by creative director german roig, who has hand-drawn a series of images, representing sensorial experiences and tea motifs.

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the layout of the store is planned around a curved central 3,5m length table, inspired by a family tradition in the mediterranean culture, as well as in china, where relatives and friends often gather together around a large table. in the middle, a customized plant pot with greenery brings a touch of nature and acts as a semi-transparent visual division, offering a sense of privacy to the customers. all furnishings within the ‘mini cuppa’ were designed and produced by the team at raams architecture studio.

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the reflective tabletops are created to mirror the trees from the outside garden, bringing green into the space. the loop stools and chairs are upholstered in vibrant blue fabric, generating minimal, unique & durable pieces. big slabs of pink marble are installed to form a unique backdrop that adds a softer touch to the whole space. 

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project info:


name: mini cuppa
architecture office: raams architecture studio
design principals: german roig garcia, natalia moreno ruiz
project designers: chen zhuoran, jovana petrovic
location: shanghai, china



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: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom