Waechter Architecture

Waechter Architecture

Portland, OR


J-Tea (boutique retail)

J-Tea International is an importer of Taiwanese oolong teas.  The task of this project was to transform an existing single family house located in a commercially zoned area into a retail space for tea sales and sampling.  The transformation is composed of 3 primary elements: entry canopy, porch and tea walls.  Each element is visually distinct and has a specific purpose.  


CANOPY:  The purpose of the canopy is to engage pedestrian and vehicular traffic giving the former house a commercial scale.  Additionally, the canopy creates an airy and glowing entry court for outdoor seating.  The white powder coated aluminum louvers stand out against the more subdued galvanized steel structure.  The white louvers are placed below the support structure to give the impression that they are floating in space -- like a cloud.


PORCH:  The purpose of the porch is to draw ones eye into the tea room by creating an aperture that frames the interior space as if it were a stage set.  The porch walls, floor and roof are made from a relatively thin 5 1/8” x 5’ Port Orford cedar glue laminated beam.  The porch is lightly supported by two concrete stem walls and cantilevers at each end to heighten one’s sense of stepping into the porch emphasizing the entry threshold. 


TEA WALLS:  The purpose of the tea walls is to form a contained ring around a central tea bar creating a calm and quiet room, heightening the senses for the smelling and tasting of tea.  The tea walls are composed of a grid of maple plywood that circumscribes the room and incorporates window openings for a continuous appearance.  The grid of shelves is filled with richly colored and textured merchandise that creates a variegated pattern.  



All woodworking, concrete work, and steel installation were performed by the general contractor.  This included items such as glue laminated porch installation, steel canopy installation, window/ door fabrication, floor installation, cabinet/ shelf construction and bar countertop installation.  The J-Tea building has a seamless and tailor made quality resulting from its construction by a single individual.

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Status: Built
Location: Eugene, OR