Boshan is one of China‘s porcelain capitals, with ceramic craftsmanship in the district dating back over a thousand years. The idyllic surrounds of Yuwang Mountain are home to an ‘elder care town’, which is the site of Co-Direction Design‘s Pottery and Coloured Glaze Workshop.

Working with an area so rich in history, Co-Direction consciously combined their innovation-first approach with traditional local culture. The resulting space is striking and distinctive, achieving a delicate balance between the historical and the contemporary.

Co-Direction relied heavily on natural materials to create a calming, restrained atmosphere. Timber, stone, copper and brick were widely utilised, in harmony with age-old cultural symbols of ceramics incorporated into the interior.

The foyer’s symmetrical layout instils an orderly aesthetic aligned with traditional oriental design principles. A large piece of dark granite serves as the reception desk, behind which textured glass screens exude soft lights that enhance the expansive area.

The vast, double-height ceiling is covered in curved timber veneer slats, from which strategically placed light bulbs illuminate glazed brick walls below. Both earth-toned and luminous, grey bricks contrast to form a pattern that traces the perimeter of the foyer.

Ochre, black, and white are the main hues featured throughout the 810-square-meter, two-storey workshop. Level one is where the creative action happens, with pottery making, firing and glazing, and display and drying areas flowing on from one another in an open-plan central room. Level two is reminiscent of an artists loft, with more textured glass used to form semi-opaque pottery display cases that punctuate the space.

Fittingly, pottery serves as essential décor. White vessels of various shapes and sizes are exhibited throughout. Those that are glazed line timber shelves, while those in the workshop wait to be painted in clusters on communal tables.


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[Images courtesy of Co-Direction Design. Photography by Jing Xufeng.]


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