- a journey between the formed and formless 

The Tianyuan Olive Oil Factory is a free standing building located at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province of China. It includes three main areas: Olive Oil lab , production lines and exhibition hall , totally 600sqm, 

The Interior design is inspired by the beautiful natural landscape where the formless white clouds and fog nestling among the formed Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the design approach also conveys the brand ‘s vision: unity of sustainability and health, harmony of human and nature, balance of body and soul. The interior design creates a journey between the formed and formless.   

The architecture exterior is a simple retangular box built with pitched roof and local yellow stones which merge itself into the mountain seamlessly. The three glass boxes insert three olive trees into the interiors and bring the outside formless nature to the inside formed interior.

The interior production line is divided into three sections: R&D, production and packaging. The visitor gallery is placed in parallel with the production facilities. Stepping into the gallery, one is welcomed by one olive tree in a glass box that filled with sunshine. The windows on the left framed with recycled old wood to bring the stunning scenary inside; on the right behind the glass partition the entire production process unfolds. The carefully curated circulation leads you to experience the moving natural lights and shadows, at the same time one could observe the olive oil extraction process honed over the past few decades.

The wall that stands from east to west is made of recycled wood reclaimed from the local Naxi Ethnic Minority’s village. The olive oil tree leaves are printed on the raw concrete floor to guide visitors as signages. The square lighting boxes echo with the boxy windows on the facade.

The three olive trees in the glass boxes are the highlight of the space, the extended formless flooring in green biomorphic epoxy resin runs like the fluid olive oil to the formed production space. As seasons go and weather changes, people will see different colors and forms, once again to connect the formless nature with people in the formed space. Among the boxes is the tasting table, the olive products’ showcase in the wall made by the local square bricks. The tree leaves whisper in between sun rises and sun sets, lights play with shadows on the concrete floor, motion vs stillness, organic overlaps the inorganic, formed  the formless, the interior blurs the exterior, and the boundary is disappearing.

At the journey comes to the end, local ancient language DongBa‘s characters are floating on the custom made glass, telling the long history of local NaXi Ethnic Minority. The DongBa paper-made lantern is hung above the tasting table where one swirls and slurps the fresh extracted olive oil underneath, as if to remind people about the historic past.

Human and nature, body and soul, formed and formless, blurred and merged.



PROJECT LOCATION         Yunnan lijiang daju
DESIGN PERIOD                2020
CLIENT                              The Tianyuan Olive Oil Factory
TYPE                                  Factory
SCALE                                600m²
PROJECT STATUS               Completed