Inspired by the traditional Japanese tea house, this modest structure, which is meant to transport the visitor to an alternate realm of ceremony and contemplation, is to be located in the Southwestern desert of the United States. The design, evocative of geological formations typically found in this desert region, sits in isolation in a vast landscape, among the shrubs and stars.
The simple palette of materials consisting of thick, battered limestone walls, travertine wainscoting, and a roof clad in weathering steel panels, complement the desert hues. Limestone and travertine, which both occur naturally in this part of the world, further link the structure to this place. The size of the tea house is based on a 4.5 tatami mat layout, with a sunken hearth at the center.
Perimeter alcoves contain a Mizuya, for the preparation of tea, and a Tokonoma, for the display of artwork, flower arrangements, pottery, and other items. The large roof overhang, which gives the feeling of a precariously balanced rock, works to provide shade in the harsh, sun-drenched environment. The reflecting pool, which defines the space below the roof, and acts as an opposing force to the solid walls of the tea house, which erupt from the earth, also aids in evaporative cooling..
Tea House No. 1 Gallery
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