Project description

I am a young designer who has enthusiasm for architecture and interior design. I will never stop my love of exploring the world and the diversity of cultures. Through putting effort into developing myself in the academic and practical field, I am looking forward to making contributions to improving our living environment as an interior designer.

This final year design project of my undergraduate study in ECA is to convert a historic Scottish Kirk into a modern tea house. Through a sequence of experimental and ambitious developments, I was trying to build a bridge between different cultures and backgrounds. 
Drinking tea is proposed as a new social activity for gathering local communities in Edinburgh. The rich and diverse cultural background about tea culture will create distinctive and abundant experiences. By connecting the tea knowledge from my home country-China to the long history of tea drinking in the UK, a bridge of design, art, and cultures is built and developed throughout the project.

In this revolutionary tea house, the historical features from the existing building are kept and juxtaposed with modern design. People will enjoy the relationship between old and new, Eastern and Western characteristics within the space. In TEA Zone, there will be no limitations of form and rules; visitors will enjoy their time with tea and the unique interior environment.

Skills & Experience
  • Volunteer Work: UoE Global Buddies Leader 2020-2021
  • Skill: Chinese, English, German, Japanese
  • Volunteer Work: UoE Mentor-Mentee Program 2020-2021
  • Study Abroad: Exchange in Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart, Germany (2020.03-2020.07)
  • Interior Design Assistant-Nanjing Lirui Decoration 2020-2021
  • Interior Design Internship-Bric Interiors Edinburgh 2021
The Old Kirk

Address: The Old (or Great) Kirk, Edinburgh, EH8 8JR

Building year: 1881-1882

Architect: Anderson and Browne

This was the kirk of the Old (or Great) Kirk, a congregation which had originally worshipped
in part of St Giles from 1560, and in this Old Kirk between 1882 and 1941. Until the merger with the University of Edinburgh in 1998, the building had latterly housed Moray House's Building Services. It is now closed.

The site is located in the central area of the old town in Edinburgh and surrounded by historical heritages and university facilities.

Site Surroundings
The Building

The plan of the body of the church is T-shaped, the extremity of the long arm being octagonal, and against the angled sides being set circular stairs connecting two floors. At the principal entrance, a porch and vestibule is formed and the hardwood doors are painted with significant blue. On the first floor, the typical hammer-beam trusses can be found Behind the pulpit, completing the cruciform plan of the church. The walls are built of square snecked rubble, with scabbled stone dressings. The roof is constructed with natural grey small slates. 

Building Model
Space division

The building is diving into different functions for tea activities. On the ground floor, there is a large seating area for tea drinking. In the central area, displaying shelves are cooperating with the staircase, which promotes circulation within the space. There is more experimental space on the first floor. The historical hammer beams surround the central exhibition area. On the other side, the former pulpit is kept and developed as the stage for special tea ceremony performance. People can access diverse ways to understand tea culture and feel the building.

Space division
First Floor Plan
View to the exhibition area
View to the ceremony stage
Ground Floor Plan
Redeveloping a Scottish kirk into a modern tea house
Isometric View to the central space
Main space
Section B
Construction detail
A corner in the tea room
A corner in the tea room