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The city of Shenzhen has been continuously shifting gear thanks to its proximity to Hong Kong. But in recent years, an accelerated economic growth has boosted the standard of living for the whole Guangdong region, and to such an extent that the current urban expansion here will eventually form the planet’s first megalopolis a.k.a. Pearl River Delta. As one of its main pillars, life in Shenzhen is far removed from circumstances a mere decades ago. As a city on the move with an affluent demographic – mind you, Shenzhen has consistently ranked in China‘s Top 5 of highest GDP‘s for many years – it increasingly boasts a lifestyle infrastructure that’s similar to that of the former British Crown Colony. As such, local companies emerge or have stepped up services in order to meet the requirements of an increasingly savvy demographic.

In the latter category falls Bense E Cha, a Shenzhen-based tea company which was recently relaunched and is now approaching the market through retail, and its very first flagship store and café has opened its doors smack in the middle of Futian Central Business District, a part of town dotted with a growing number of prestigious skyscrapers. The venue occupies a lofty 60 sqm. (646 sq.ft.) unit at the Xinhua Insurance Building, one of the area’s glitzy high-rises, and features an interior design by Chinese architecture practice One Design. The Bense E Cha store is concepted as a relaxing social space away from the downtown hustle and bustle, and where to sit back, relax or strike up a conversation with other visitors.A sculptural ceiling in green contrasts with walls covered in faux-wood metal panels and ceramic tile flooring in light shades.

The modular furnishings comprise of ottomans, low tables and side tables crafted from steel. An emerald green hue dominates the space and obviously references the green tea concoctions served by Bense E Cha. While a large-sized painting hints the history of tea and its traditions, the design and set-up of the space aim to evoke a modern lifestyle. The configuration features densely arranged tables and chairs which shorten the distance between patrons and enable them to sit face to face, boosting both interaction and communication among them. Orders are distributed from a service counter, fully covered in stone and with built-in glass cabinet, situated directly opposite the main seating area. Adding a pop of colour are large decorative spheres in a red hue.

Designed by One Design
Images © One Design
Photography by Feng Jian


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