mass studies sets tea stone museum + cafe in korean forest
images © yong-kwan kim
all images courtesy of mass studies




located on jeju island off the coast of south korea, an extension to the ‘osulloc tea museum’ and a series of connecting buildings have been completed by korean studio mass studies. the ‘tea stone’, ‘innisfree house’ and ‘innisfree annex’ are nestled between the tea farming landscape and surrounding ‘gotjawal’, a term used by locals that refers to a forest on rocky ground.



‘tea stone’ is designed as a simple box that extends over the slope of a hill, sitting directly adjacent to the museum in order to accommodate additional functions. only a glimpse of the building is initially revealed, encouraging the visitors to venture through the forest to explore its offerings. the polished, black concrete mass has a glossy surface that reflects the surrounding nature and sky, making it possible to achieve both a sense of heaviness and lightness simultaneously.


aerial view of the ‘tea stone’ building where people can experience and learn about tea



from the rear exit of the tea museum, one crosses a dry creek to its basement level – a dark space where people may experience and learn about the fermentation process. a narrow staircase leads up to chusa exhibition gallery on the first floor, which acts as the front room for the classroom. this area offers workshops and lectures with the forest visible through the glass façade. wooden rafters sit in a single direction within the structure of the concrete support, in a saw-tooth formation across the entire roof. directly outside the building a shallow, black pool lines the edge of the glass, reflecting both the building and forest.


visitors arrive at the polished, concrete box after navigating through the forest


the transparent façade connects the interior space to the greenery outside


a shallow, black pool lines the edge of the glass, reflecting both the building and forest


the ‘innisfree house’ is located further along the pathway



initially planned as a forest gallery space the ‘innisfree house’ is situated at the highest point on the hill and opens to the outside as much as possible. the materials used for the interior finishes come from the surrounding environment, such as wood and basalt, so that the 34.8 x 11m store and café sits comfortably in the landscape. the building’s rectangular plan runs parallel to the forest path as if an extension of the design, while also connecting to supporting facilities in the annex building. a wide deck is placed at the front with transparent, folding doors making it possible open the sides, so that one can eat, drink, and relax in nature. similar to the ‘tea stone’, wooden rafters run along the ceiling, contributing to the warm atmosphere – an awning made from roughly cut shingles blocks direct sunlight filtering through so that the interior is bathed in a soft glow.


the building has glazing on all sides, opening the interior to the surrounding landscape


the rectangular plan runs parallel to the forest path, as if an extension of the design


interior view of the ‘innisfree house’ showing the use of warm, natural materials



project info:


osulloc: tea stone, innisfree, innisfree annex
construction period: 2012.04-2012.12
type: commercial, cultural
location: jeju, korea
site area: 18,976.00 m2
site coverage area: 1,157.95 m2
total floor area: 1,451.91 m2
architects: mass studies, minsuk cho, kisu park, joungwon lee, hyunseok jung, jonghwa hong, kwonwoong lim, soo hyun jin, daehyun kim
structural engineer: teo structure
MEP engineer: hana consulting & engineers
façade consultant: front inc.
lighting engineer: newlite
landscape design: seo ahn landscaping
construction: daerim construction
client: amore pacific