Welcome to the Biofore Tea House

A rich cultural heritage meets visionary thinking: the Chinese tea house takes new form with Biofore.

UPM Biomaterials give creative freedom for design

UPM and the Shanghai-based Tongji University College of Design and Innovation started cooperation with a target to create a modern concept for the traditional Chinese tea house. The unique tea house showcases UPM's innovative wood-based biomaterials in a way that combines heritage with the future.

A team of design students from the Tongji University College of Design and Innovation were asked to redefine the design of a traditional Chinese tea house. The aim was to come up with a highly aesthetic, yet modern and functional concept by using UPM’s innovative wood-based biomaterials.

There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.
Lin Yutang

Modern tea house with sustainable, recyclable biomaterials

The Chinese tea house has for generations been used for sharing ideas - it is a place where every person and idea is valuable and respected.

UPM teamed up with the faculty and students of Tongji University’s College of Design and Innovation to create a serene and one-of-a-kind oasis blending ancient tradition and modern design: the Biofore Tea House.

The entrance to the tea house is via the narrowest part of the ten-metre-long structure, where the mesh patterns of the walls also grew denser. Further into the tea house, the room became lighter and more spacious. The distinctive architecture created a fantastic interplay of light and shadow, offering an urban tea experience that was both visually and spiritually refreshing.

The striking space combined the serene mood of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony with a fresh, modern look inspired by nature. The innovative use of sustainable, recyclable biomaterials also aligns perfectly with UPM’s Biofore vision.


Our materials in the Biofore Tea House

One of the main design criteria for the Biofore Tea House was to come up with a modular design that allows flexibility and mobility. Moreover, the design had to showcase the properties offered by UPM's innovative materials.  The wood raw material in UPM's products is from sustainably managed forests and conforms to relevant standards and regulations.


All UPM materials used in the Biofore Tea House are sustainable and recyclable. The strong and stiff WISA® Plywood is used for the frame and decorative skin, UPM Grada® thermoformable wood material is used in the main walls and the floor is made of UPM ProFi® Design Deck composite, which is both recycled and recyclable and wonderful to the touch. The Biofore Tea House is complemented with UPM’s label paper.

UPM Grada is an impressive material as it enabled very elegant and light-looking structures that could carry a lot of weight.
Shen Jingliang, designer

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Tongji University

Tongji University, formerly Tongji German Medical School, was established in 1907. It was given its present name and became a state university in 1927.

It was one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in China. It is a comprehensive university with ten major disciplines in sciences, engineering, medicine, humanities, law, economics, management, philosophy, arts and pedagogy with strength in architecture, civil engineering and oceanography.