— Frame Magazine —

UGO Architecture steeps Odette Tea Room interior with banana tree leaves

WARSAW – Standing in stark contrast to a sleek stone plaza, Odette Tea Room offers herbal tea lovers a leafy retreat within the Polish capital's skyscraper district.

Founder of UGO Architecture, architect Hugon Kowalski infuses the base of a tower – referred to as Cosmopolitan Twarda – with a cultivated teahouse characterized by botanical scenery and punctuated by brass elements. 

A stone's throw from Grzybowski Square and its historic church, the adjacent plaza filters into the teahouse as a geometric stone floor and wainscot, blurring the shift from outdoor paving to interior flooring. Although the ground plane changes in a subtle manner, Kowalski's treatment of the walls is another story.

Visitors leave behind the sterility of the encompassing, contemporary cityscape for a tropical scene of lush banana tree leaves. An asymmetrical grid of brass rods forms a spatial lighting fixture which visually extends into a matching metal shelving framework. Chrome canisters filled with diverse tea varieties line each shelf.

A rosewood-veneered counter sits alongside circular tables topped with the wood veneer as an inlaid foliage motif are complemented with twiglike legs and chairs.

Photos Tom Kurek Tomirri Photography