Kenna Design: A Michelin feast featured the artistic flair of Song Dynasty with wine and tea

Project: Shanghai Tea Culture Chinese Restaurant – Yunfeng Villa
Architects: Hangzhou Kenna Interior Design Co., Ltd.
Location: Shanghai, China
Area: 10,763 sf
Photographs by: Toprand

Yunfeng Villa by Hangzhou Kenna Interior Design

It’s the same moon outside the window, only plum blossoms make the night different.
​ ——Written by Du Lei, a poet in the Southern Song Dynasty

As Si kongtu, the poet of the late Tang Dynasty says:” Go beyond the surface and master the essence”, which explains exactly the simple and elegant Song-style aesthetics. As a representative restaurant of Huaiyang cuisine, Tea Culture Chinese Restaurant, which won one Michelin star at the end of last year, has an unusual space design. Hangzhou Kenna Design has completed the creation of the oriental space with the preface of “The Classic of Tea”, unfolding the scroll in the interior of nearly 1,000 square meters, with subtle brushwork and a grand atmosphere.


The first challenge is the layout rearrangement of this villa, which was once converted from a bathing pool with a chaotic interior. Therefore, the original old stairs are demolished and an open straight main aisle is added adjacent to the ramp to connect the building as a whole. The movement lines to the functional areas and private rooms on both sides are subtracted. With a clear and restrained design method, the entire space has a sense of cohesion.

The ramp forms a hollow square shape in a space of about 10 square meters with compact broken lines. In the process of rotating upwards, the spatial rhythm of “opening, closing, and opening” can be easily recognized. Avoiding cumbersome decoration, space returns to simplicity.

Instead of a single reception area, the front hall on the ground floor serves as a tea room, which is regarded as the highest courtesy in traditional Chinese culture. Upstairs, the sound of Chinese Zither becomes clearer from far to near, matching with the fragrance of tea. The reserved electric roller blinds increase flexibility and make the immersive scene experience much natural.

Mountain, water, and collection

Mountains and rivers are treasures in the city. Through space construction combined with the human spirit of investigation of things, it is possible to rebuild them in the limited space of the project. As a result, the designer fills the space with traditional Chinese colors such as crimson, gray, and cyan; thus, a painting spreads from the paper to space, and the gray art paint and dark metal bring a sense of stability to the entire space.

When light flows through the gaps between the plain structure pillars, light and shadow are formed on the ceiling and wall. They can be the imagination of the literati study grid or the deconstruction of the undulating mountains. Being quiet, space has revealed everything.

The rock landscape, trees, and flowering branches form scenery in their own way. Set up at the ups and downs of the space, they are like the period and prologue of each chapter. Visitors can watch them or let them grow. In addition, a lot of blank space is left in the space to provide flair circulation with “nothingness” and for all things to depend on.

When we talk about the history of Chinese art, it will be the glory of artifacts. So in more subtle places, such as the tea table, Chinese zither sound, incense burner, and flower vases are carefully placed by the designer. The dim lights on the wall, the last cup of tea that does not seem to be completely cold, the candle flame that is still jumping, and the buds which are about to bloom, all makes visitors seem to break into a tranquil space without knowing that he was the owner.

In any kind of context, aesthetics is an emotional pleasure without any utilitarianism. Except for pleasure, Kenna Design adds a sense of freedom and elegance to space.

Thirteen personal emotions

In the new space, 13 private rooms named “Watch Hill”, “Enjoy Orchids”, “Taste Flair”, “Best Taste”, “The Enlightened”, “Blank Space” and other atmosphere images are created by the five senses of “color, sound, fragrance, taste, and touch”.

If there is a proposition composition for diners, they will have the mood of watching the mountains and enjoying orchids, and even the fragrance and glimpse the clouds. No matter how time goes by, there are dishes and tea smells in the room.

The contemporary Chinese furniture does not emphasize a certain era. Integrated with space, the material and fabric focus more on the comfort of users, and maintenance convenience for the operators.

The wall treatment transforms the specific form of the landscape painting into large-scale freehand rendering. Although there is no painting, it creates the painting environment, simplified to the extreme and retaining the spirit. This is also a design consideration that allows the space to metabolize anxiety and irritability.

When the retrospect of tradition has become a popular way in space design, how to use modernity is of the utmost importance. One of the ways is to find its ancient roots and the taste of tea is the ever-lasting and timeless one.

-Project description and images provided by Hangzhou Kenna Interior Design Co., Ltd.


Tags: China, Hangzhou Kenna Interior Design Co., interior, restaurant, Shanghai, tea, yunfeng villa

Author: Fidan Jovanov


A young enthusiast with a passion for home decor and architecture, I love writing articles that inspire and guide readers in transforming their spaces into stylish, functional, and beautiful environments.


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