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Jonathan Clark Architects

Jonathan Clark Architects

London, UK

Jonathan Clark Architects - Tea Smith

Jonathan Clark Architects

This 125 sq.m project was the strip out and subsequent fit-out of a Victorian Grade 2 listed shop unit within Spitalfields Market.

Display units and countertop for tea-tasting experience

Display units and countertop for tea-tasting experience 



Detail display of tea-pots

Detail display of tea-pots 



Tea-display counter and tasting facilities

Tea-display counter and tasting facilities 



Window display detail

Window display detail 



Detail of lighting

Detail of lighting 



3D axometric view

3D axometric view 



The accommodation is arranged over the ground and basement floors.

The ground floor is for the retailing/merchandise storage of upmarket Asian teas. There is a tasting counter with bar stools at one end for customers to try the various teas before purchasing or just to drink tea.

The general concept is one of reinterpretation/modernising of traditional oriental images and experiences without immediate reference. It is about demystifying and re-connecting with the lost tradition of tea drinking by suggesting origins without actually physically needing to be in China or Japan i.e. you can be in London or any other city or town. The aim is to surprise or challenge people with the design without scaring them with culturally specific references.

The long joinery wall serves both to display the product within mirrored spot-lit open boxes and also for product storage behind backlit spun vinyl screens which were made from material normally used for place mats. All the joinery is purpose made from specifically distressed stained pitch pine. The basement is more specialised with linen curtains wrapping around the perimeter and teapot displays within suspended spot-lit perspex boxes hanging from the ceiling.

We were also responsible for the design and implementation of the signage and graphics throughout.