TOMO Design for HEYTEA LAB, Shenzhen



Shenzhen, China,


The Chinese firm, TOMO Design has crafted a flagship store in Shenzhen for the popular Chinese gourmet tea brand, Heytea, where the new engaging, interactive customer experience is the perfect match for the brand’s philosophy.

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TOMO Design for HEYTEA LAB, Shenzhen Retail outlets have been changing for some time now, and are no longer merely shops where you make your purchase. Now, they’re places where you can enjoy experiences and emotions generated by the retail environment. Therefore, the architecture project and the interior design are crucial for adding value to the product; otherwise, we could just as easily do all our shopping online.
Basing its approach on this strategy, the Heytea brand – which already has outlets in other cities in China – commissioned the creatives from TOMO Design to design the Shenzhen Heytea Lab, its first flagship store in this Chinese metropolis. The brand and the designers studied current consumer habits and trends and decided to add a social function to the products, a new consumer experience. The brand bases its concept on four keywords: “Cool”, “Inspiration”, “Design”, and “Zen”, here embraced both as visual decorations inside the flagship store and as guidelines for the architecture project.
Using these concepts as the foundation, TOMO Design interpreted the project with a sequence of interior environments. The flagship store’s facade features traditional materials like stone and grey brick as a nod to the context, broken up by the more contemporary metal brickwork to make it attractive to the younger crowd. The newly built volume welcomes visitors with a metal screen instead of a solid wall, and this segues into the inside entrance. Here, the architects have skilfully combined architecture, modern ink paintings, digital technology, and a virtual “rain curtain”. All these elements engage and connect, showcasing both the clash and the blend of tradition and modernity
The design team divided the interiors into five different experiential laboratories: the peripheral lab, the ice-making lab, the dessert lab and the illustration lab on the first floor, and the tea geek lab on the second floor. A geometric steel staircase cuts through the centre of the building, making it a visual focus. Around it, metal LED screens present beautiful scenes of the four seasons, a reference to nature to create a robust aesthetic connection between customers and product. When they’re not showing special effects, these screens also add artistic decorations to the space.
The courtyard is an integral part of the project. TOMO Design has turned this into a minimalist Zen-type garden, with lots of curves and bold materials like custom stone benches and metal chairs. Again they used a grey colour palette, adding a patterned brickwork feature wall, and a steel rock formation. You can sit back, relax and enjoy an excellent cup of tea in this oasis of peace.
For Heytea Lab in Shenzhen, TOMO Design has come up with an eye-catching design that plays with tradition and the here and now to provide innovative retail experiences, by exploring new horizons in the design of brick-and-mortar stores.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: TOMO DESIGN (http://www.tomodesign.cn)
Interior Design: Uno Chan, Xiao Fei
Cooperative Design: Suri Liao, Joey He, Jason Luo, Yun Peng
Location: Shenzhen, China
Year: 2019
Photographer: Sean


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