Wednesday, November 25, 2009

teahouse symbolism: a1 architects

For many lucky enough to possess one, their backyard is a place of solace. This Tea House by David Maštálka of A1 Architects in Prague, was built as all tea houses are for the slow appreciation of the mundane aspects and beauty of life. Built from oak & burnt larch facing, it was constructed in a mere 35 days.

The Teahouse as a typological kind follows the Japanese tradition of minimizing space and is intended as place the meet with guest at a cup of tea for a spiritual release. The tea house meant for ideals of harmony, closeness, ritual, hospitality, etc. are aspects of life we often forget with our busy schedules, but which we should all incorporate into our lives daily.

Many people possess a backyard studio or shed, but few build such a glorious tea room.

From Wiki: According to the Nihon Kōki (Latter Chronical of Japan), drinking of tea was introduced to Japan in the 9th century, by the Buddhist monk Eichū, who had returned to Japan from China. This is the first documented evidence of tea in Japan.The ideogram for word tea house translates into three different definitions — all metaphysical. First, 'Abode of the Void' obviously refers to the Buddhist concept of nothingness, of the vacuum, and the aesthetic principle that the pavilion must exist for itself alone. When not used for tea rites it stands empty and idle. 'Abode of the Fancy' implies a personal relationship between the tea room and its designer. It is not built for permanency or posterity, but to express the Buddhist teaching that just as the body is a temporary temple, so the 'hut' is fleeting, a temporary thing, a resting place. The thatched roof suggests perishability; the slender pillars the fragility of life; the bamboo supports suggest lightness; the use of ordinary materials testifies to non-attachment. 'Abode of the A-Symmetrical' is also basically Zen, which is the philosophy of Becoming — a dynamic, endless process. Symmetry suggests completeness and the 'aping of an abstract and artificial perfection.' In the tea room or the Japanese house the decorations are always off-center, the balance occult; sets come in threes and fives; one never finds the artistic representation of a person on display...

Photographs: Ester Havlová

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