Architecture, objects, fire, bodies, words – those five elements form a perfect whole in a small space, and an intensely personal time is passed.
- Fujimori Terunobu, Fujimori Terunobu Architecture, pp 50.
Sharing a bowl of tea in the context of Japanese Tea Ceremony is intimate, meditative, philosophical, and spiritual. It demands that the participants are fully present in the moment. The tea ceremony takes place within a tea room or cha-shitsu, sometimes housed within a stand-alone structure or tea house. Although we are half a world and many centuries away from the birth of this tradition, there are many aspects of tea that are valuable to our society today.
For architects, the traditional Japanese Tea House, known for its simplicity of program and space, is an exciting typology with which to test ideas and experiment with materials, technology and construction techniques. In the fall of 2014, an architecture studio course, Tea House Design/Build - HACU 282, was offered at Hampshire College and enrolled in by students from Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College and UMass Amherst. This exhibit will highlight student work undertaken over the course of the semester including models and analytical drawings of traditional and contemporary tea houses as well as ten unique full scale tea houses.