Tea Smith

Spitalfields, London E1.

This was a strip out and subsequent fit out of a Victorian Grade II listed shop unit in Spitafields Market. Our concept reinterprets traditional Asian motifs without direct reference. We wanted to reconnect with a lost tradition of tea ceremony by suggesting origin and culture in a design that would suprise and challenge.

Tasting counter with bar stools at one end for customers to try different teas before purchasing or to stop and drink tea.

Long joinery wall serves both to display the product within mirrored, spot-lit, open boxes and also fro product storage behind back-lit, spun-vinyl screens which were made from material normally used for place mats.

In the basement, linen curtains wrapped around the perimeter and teapots are displayed in spot-lit Perspex boxes hanging from the ceiling.

All joinery is purpose made from distressed, stained pitch pine.

Many thanks again for your diligence on the project. You are (almost) worth your weight in tea. Customers love our space. I'm frequently asked 'who designed it?' This is helping the teas to sell themselves. We're delighted, and very grateful.

John Kennedy, TeaSmith

Awards

• The Architects' Journal Small Projects Award - Shortlisted
• Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2008 - Runner up

Publications

Magazines:

• The Architects' Journal, 11 January 2007
• Elle Decoration, May 2007
• Hospitality Interiors, April/May 2007
• Time Out, February 2007
• Wallpaper, March 2007

Books:

• &Life, Published May 2007