Spiritea is a bar that serves herbal and caffeinated tea in New York's Ukranian Village. It is the third outpost of the tea house brand, which also has locations in Irvine, California and Richmond, British Columbia.
The decor features a muted palette comprising a dusty rose ceiling, cream walls and light tone site-cast terrazzo floors, alongside upholstered seating in soft green and blue fabrics.
"Spritea is conceived as a freshly playful environment with a sense of fusion between Eastern and Western tea cultures," said New Practice Studio.
The studio renovated a 167-square-metre corner storefront property defined by large window to create the open-plan space where ordering, preparing and enjoying tea happen all together.
To emphasise the importance of tea making, New Practice Studio arranged the shop around a curved white marble counter where tea is prepared and served. This volume features a prominent rounded edge and is positioned underneath a rounded built-in on the ceiling.
When visualised together, they are designed to "showcase the elegant process of teamaking to the guests".
Both rounded units are made of plasterboard with oak veneer from Shinokki.
For seating, curvilinear shapes are continued in the form of two rounded benches arranged in the shape of a circle. Running along the top of these free-standing units are upholstered tubes.
"The space is organised based on an open layout, with a series of custom-made curvilinear banquette groups creating dynamic flow and lounge-like experience," said New Practice Studio.
Other built-ins provide additional seating in two of the shop's corners.
Almost all of the furniture pieces in Spiritea are supported on thin bronze rods that add a sense of lightness, including small round tables with pink bases.
Additional decor includes a swooped neon light anchors the front of the shop, while walls feature contemporary art by students Kun Wei and Yafang Zhi at Tsinghua University in China.
A dimly-lit restroom in the rear finishes the project and reinforces the curvilinear geometries of the main space. The room features a double-dome ceiling design, finished in a light oak veneer.
Spiritea was also designed around the restrictions of it being inside a preserved landmark building. The storefront retains much of the original structure and historic details, including the white pillars inside and exterior details painted black.
Founded in 2017, New Practice Studio is led by Nianlai Zhong with partners Sidong Lang and Tai-Li Lee and has offices in New York and Shangai. The studio has designed several eateries related to the Chinese community in Manhattan, including Hunan Slurp and Atlas Kitchen.
Photography is by Andy Chu unless stated otherwise.
Design team: Sidong Lang, Tai-li Lee, Nianlai Zhong, Junchao Yang, Yiyi Wang, Xiufang Zhao
Engineer of record: Lam & Lam Designs DPC