Neri & Hu
This teahouse by Neri & Hu harbors within it the structure of a high-ranking Qing dynasty official’s residence.
The Relic Shelter, as the project by the Shanghai-based practice of Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu is called, is inspired by the Jinshan Temple nearby. It is elevated above a rammed concrete base, while its sweeping metal roof, penetrated by skywells, echoes the architectural relic contained within. The old residence thus becomes the centerpiece, in constant dialogue with the new enclosing volume.
Upon approach, a series of contrasts plays out through labyrinthine spaces and among elements that are bright and dark, light and heavy, coarse and refined. Only upon reaching the mezzanine does the structural configuration of the building begin to reveal itself. At the top of the rotunda, a carved oculus filters the sun through a thin film of water, creating a mesmerizing play of reflections.