Singapore – Clarke Quay, once one of the most bustling wharfs in Singapore, where barge lighters transported goods upstream to several blocks warehouses, is today a dock that doubles as a hip neighbourhood, teeming with restaurants, bars and nightclubs. And that's appropriately where Heytea, a Chinese tea chain with a very contemporary mindset, decided to launch its first overseas shop.
Inspired by the lighthouse on Fort Canning Hill, close to the quay, MOC Design created an array of 20 bespoke lamp posts that dim and brighten overtime in a gradual choreography. It is quite the sight and customers have seen the light: the total space is 250 sq-m, but even that isn't enough to fit in the lines and lines of people willing to wait for a glass of cheese tea.
Just like a lighthouse, the new Heytea shop guides customers through a sea of shops and into their favourite cup of tea
Beyond the spectacle, the lamp posts are fitted along the high table, in order to fulfil some functional needs. But still, the element plays a fundamental role: the light belts hidden on the top part of the wooden frame produce a reflection onto the ceiling, which translates into a soft veil of illumination. Then, spotlights are used as partitions between the seating areas and the hall, and tall glass windows and bright white spots serve to contrast the lull coming from the street outside.
So it's not just the historical inspiration: just like a lighthouse, the new Heytea shop guides customers through a sea of shops and into their favourite cup of tea.