The Muses of Shuiyunjian Tea Club


The Yueyan Cave, where Zhou Dunyi, a philosopher of the Northern Song Dynasty, onced lived in; the simple and exquisite former residence of Zeng Guofan, a prestigious official of the late Qing Dynasty; Say Goodbye to Cambridge Again, a beautiful poem written by the Chinese modern poet Xu Zhimo… These are the muses that inspired the designer Jiang Guoxin of Shuiyunjian Tea Club.

In this fast developing city, tea clubs are great places for people to find their inner peace.

Shuiyunjian represents a simple and elegant tea club of modern Chinese style. The club consists of two floors: the first floor includes a lobby, a reception area, private rooms and a landscape area, while the second floor contains four small rooms and a large room, a kitchen, a bathroom, an office and a storeroom. The dominant hue of the club is black, white and wooden, and the complementary hue is gray.

The front lobby features a back wall piled up with concrete blocks, the candles lit inside which give out gleaming lights. The irregular characters “Shuiyunjian” sculptured on the rusty iron plate are hung above the volcanic rock wall. Different sizes of frames divide the wall into multiple cabinets, resembling the drawers in the traditional Chinese pharmacy. Various potteries are displayed in the cabinets enveloped in the faint yellow light.

The reception area is separated from the lobby by a crude clay wall. The whole area is decorated by traditional Chinese-style elements—withered bamboos, stones and cloud lights. The private rooms are half-divided from the lobby with glass partition walls.

The entrance to the staircase is ornamented with an octagonal partition wall, implicating the conventional Chinese philosophical idea: people should be smooth when dealing with people.

The staircase to the second floor is simple and functional, with black stairs, white banisters, bronze rails with lights hidden inside, cloud lights floating in the air and the verse of the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo: “Very quietly I take my leave, as quietly as I came here.”

Plain colors and simple design are the dominant characteristics of the private rooms on the second floor. The walls are decorated by gray volcanic rock, beige stones, gray wood pieces, black and white paintings and bamboo fences. Every room is decorated by bamboos, adding a sense of aesthetic appeal.

(Shuiyunjian Tea Club, 2015 CGD Gold Winner)