Krystal Lu

The BASIC Outdoor Tea Room

Class of: 2026

Major: Interior Design BFA

Medium: Model (Wood, plexiglass)

Faculty: Aaron Krach

Prompt: Designing and building an outdoor dining area that corresponds to the certain demands aspect of the current society.

This project envisages an outdoor dining space designed for a traditional Chinese teahouse. The site will contribute as part of urban design development, providing inclusive spaces that connect people by absorbing and transmitting the environmental and cultural characteristics of the city. The BASIC Outdoor Tea Room offers a spontaneous and flexible use of space, not simply by placing people in a fixed seating area, but by enhancing the fluidity of the space. It is intended to be a semi-open area, with the sloping roof design extending into the external environment, allowing customers to interact selectively in different spaces. A traditional patterned wall linked to the interior benches and windows creates more space for customers to socialize and bring more collective energy to the space, both indoors and outdoors. In terms of structural appearance, the model emphasizes the use and combination of classical Chinese style with minimalist modern elements. Two different types of wood have been used: the beams are mainly composed of manufactured wood logs, while natural branches have been used to distinguish the Chinese elements of the columns and architraves. This choice was made to maintain the original distinctive form of the branches and to retain a sense of natural aesthetics in contrast to the overall rigid form.