wanmu shazi converts old cement factory into meditative hub for creatives in china

wanmu shazi converts old cement factory into meditative hub for creatives in china

the ‘Buduo Teahouse’ features repurposed cement cylinders 


Several years ago, while searching for a new site to host his woodwork workshop, designer Wanmu Shazi caught sight of an abandoned cement factory in Xiamen, China. Sitting at the foot of a hill surrounded by verdant topography in the distance, the architecture reveals a suburban context with farmland nearby.


During renovationShazi decided to retain most of the factory’s original structures, including its giant cement cylinder towers. Their monolithic appearance encouraged him to work with fellow designers and artists who helped transform the cylindrical interiors into unique spaces that would attract like-minded creatives. As a result, the ‘Buduo Teahouse’ was born. 

buduo teahouse 1
all images © 1988 Photography Studio / A Qi (unless stated otherwise)



a creative hub evoking spatial expression + intimate materiality


After repeated interventions over two years, the converted factory features today a 15-meter-tall ‘Meditation Teahouse’, an artist studio, a woodwork exhibition hall, and Shazi’s home and workspace, among other programs.  In the process, the designer came to the realization that ‘sometimes, space is just like people. With a good figure, complexion and temperament, there is no need for much decoration.’ 


Perhaps such a conviction pushed him to name the project ‘Buduo’, which roughly translates to ‘not much’ in Chinese. Visitors can indeed note how little ornamentation fills the renovated interiors. Instead, the ‘Buduo Teahouse’ conveys pure spatial expressions and intimate material finishes.


buduo teahouse 2



A narrow wooden bridge leads to the main entrance, where visitors pass through a door made of rusted steel and glass. Inside, a foyer holds a tree crowned by a skylight at its center, offering a distinct and instantly calming ambiance. Like a courtyard, the foyer connects and leads to five other circular rooms through doorless passageways echoing each other to produce a sense of layering with unique spatial rhythms.


Shazi embellished the six areas with indoor landscapes and framed views of the mountain scenery thanks to subtly carved-out wall openings, creating a unique play of light and shadows. To unify that spatial ambiance, the architect combined tactile wooden floors with expansive thick walls, plain textured coatings, vents hidden near skirtings, and unadorned ceilings, further accentuating the circular design.

buduo teahouse 4



aesthetic simplicity, human scale, and inclusive ‘qi’ 


Besides spatial simplicity, the designer also considered human scale to ensure physical comfort: ‘During the renovation, I repeatedly walked the interiors to find the most suitable scale and positions for window openings, hoping to create a final layout that gives visitors the impression of being ‘wrapped’ by the space.’


That said, Shazi used the Chinese concept of ‘Qi’ (energy, material force) to set up the spatial ambiance of the ‘Buduo Teahouse’. He believes that quality design needs to focus on essence rather than form to stimulate both emotional and sensory experiences. ‘In this space, people cannot help but slow down. The soft sofa placed in the corner invites visitors to sit down and relax. Humor and serenity are fused here, giving the impression of time stopping.’





Program-wise, the converted factory offers enough room for the designer’s woodworking workshop named ‘Wanmu Gongfang’. More importantly, it offers an array of distinctive spaces to host creative professionals from around the world, including venues for exhibitions and exchanges.


With a mindset exploring spatial roles, Wanmu Shazi has established a chain for creative incubation — inviting the public to know more about China’s cultural and design industries while offering a platform for the growth and support of young creatives.

buduo teahouse 3
Image © Xiao Ya

wanmu shazi converts old cement factory into meditative hub for creatives in china

buduo teahouse 6






project info:


name: Buduo Teahouse
location: Nanshan Village, Fengnan Farm, Xinmin, Xiamen, China
architecture + lighting: Wanmu Shazi

total area: 300 sqm 

photography: 1988 Photography Studio / A Qi, Xiao Ya



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: Lea Zeitoun | designboom

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