Rockview Tea House is located at Tashan Park, a natural landscape park that is open to the public for free in Weihai City. In the 1970s and 80s, people quarried in Tashan Mountain and left several quarryings, which are called "Shiwozi" (rock cotes) in the local area. The local government planned to reform these deserted places into parks in order to serve people. The location of the project is in one of these rock cotes. Due to quarrying, the original hillside that is covered with consecutive plants is cut into a giant palisade that forms a unique landscape together with the surrounded thick locusts. Especially during winter, after snowing the landscape become as a delicate ink wash painting. To build up a construction in such a place, I believe the most important is to preserve the sense of "deserted". In fact, being "deserted" is a primitive and artistic state that is endowed by the nature, which is impossible to be replaced by artificial works. Therefore, in order to retain this state to the maximum extent, the interference of construction should be conducted with extreme carefulness.
The construction is at the southwest corner of the site where the landform is relatively flat. Starting from planes, the design of the construction outline is in the form of broken lines, which is originated from the natural forms of trees and rocks from the place; in other words, the position of trees and rocks naturally decides the form of the construction plane. From the sectional view, the construction is semi-sunk. By using the elevation difference at the site, the design sets up a slope connecting the construction surface with the site, through which the construction surface becomes a viewing deck for tourists to appreciate the palisades.
The main interior space is hidden under the deck that is accessible via several stairs beneath. It is defined by several solid volumes formed by stone wall. All of the structures are hidden inside these six solid volumes, turning the tea house into a pillar-free space with wall as the definitive factor that divides the space into different functions – service room, storage room, rest room and etc. Most importantly, each of these solid stone volume is also a chamber. While the sliding doors and windows are opened and hidden into the chambers, the boundary between interior and exterior space disappears, and the outdoor palisades becomes the frame to the interior space. While the doors and windows are concealed, the construction returns into a cave that is constituted by several giant rocks and a roof, making it completely integrated with the surrounding and giving people a strong primitive feeling. In addition, two inner yards are designed to protect the existing trees, and also letting the trees to interweaves the space, in order to add more rhythms to the alteration between indoor and outdoor.
Looking at a distance, the horizontal extended roof mingle with the vertical lines of the woods. The sense of suspension generated from the rising structure endows a specious "lightness" between the roof and the site, which alleviates the heaviness of material used; meanwhile, the stone wall beneath is concealed, which reduces the volume of the construction.
The construction seems heavy in appearance yet it is built up with steel structure, due to the difficulty of transportation of heavy materials to the site, thus the choose of light and premade structures are more suitable for this project. The specially designed shallow base also reflects the intention of reducing the impact on the trees and surrounding environment. The use of rusted steel planes and stones as the primary materials, provides a sense of age, which corresponds to the red brown palisades that has experienced years of wind erosion at the site.
The stones for walls were obtained from local resources in the quarrying. The use of stone that is from site cleaning and base excavation carries out the natural and undecorated sense and creates a dialogue with the surrounding. Furthermore, the choice of materials as wooden doors, windows, and stones planes also stresses their natural quality as to diffuse the construction into the natural environment site.