MILK TEA & PEARL London by Atelier YAO

[button link=”” icon=”none” target=”” color=”a30b0b” textcolor=”ffffff”]TESTO ITALIANO[/button]

East London architecture studio atelier YAO has designed a bubble tea shop which features an architectural optical illusion.

Commissioned by Milk Tea & Pearl, the brief was simple – to provide a refreshing, memorable interior.

Milk Tea Pearl Boxpark London by architecture studio atelier YAO

The shop is located at Boxpark, a temporary shopping centre made from cargo containers, in the London borough of Hackney. The guiding vision for the shop has been a design response to the physical constraints of the existing interior space – a long, narrow, tunnel-like cargo container in which the shop resides. As cargo containers were developed to improve efficiency, therefore a major constrain which the design aimed to tackle.

Referencing the Baroque where perspective tricks were deployed to make interiors to appear higher or deeper than reality, we reversed such strategy by using geometric lines and taking advantages of false perspective to make the space appear shallower and wider. The design of the space has two halves – the front half is an abstract, anamorphic ‘beach hut’ bounded by pastel blue timber slats and white timber decking, illuminated by carnival lights reminiscent of English pleasure piers; the rear half is a white box that is the tea bar, adorned with anamorphic yellow circles of varying sizes and a ‘beach towel’ which doubles as the shop menu.

The two spaces overlap and when viewed from a centred vantage point, the optical illusion trick is revealed. The anamorphic installation was built in collaboration with Spanish artist Alberto Torres Hernandez. It was made possible by 3D mapping and painting using specialist fluorescent paint. The projected graphic contained not only the yellow ascending ‘bubbles’ but also the shop’s logo.

Milk Tea Pearl Boxpark London by architecture studio atelier YAO

Project Milk Tea & Pearl Boxpark
Lead Designer atelier YAO
Team Yaojen Chuang (Architect), Alberto Torres Hernandez (Artist), Odel Jeffries (Maker), Joseph Waller (Fabrications), Sam Mitchell (Fit-out)
Area 28 sqm
Location London
Photos courtesy atelier YAO
AN shopfitting magazine ©

Atelier YAO
Is a young east London design practice comprised of a team of architects, artist, designer and maker. Established by Yaojen Chuang in 2014, who had exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010, and was a former architect at Heatherwick studio and Tom Dixon. The studio aims to make unique projects happen through the cross-pollination between art and architecture.

Milk Tea & Pearl
Milk Tea & Pearl is the first authentic Taiwanese bubble tea parlour in Britain. The company now has two locations in London, where it imports a plethora of tempting bubble tea flavours directly from Taiwan.