The tea house is one of Japans most original buildingsa very small, very simple space consisting of tatami mat, tokonoma (the alcove where wall scrolls are hung and flower arrangements placed), ro (the sunken stove where tea is heated) and nijiriguchi (the half door through which guests enter) . For generations, Japanese architects have embraced the challenge of the tea house despite severe formal constraints.
Now, this beautiful and fascinating volume takes the traditional tea house and turns it on its head. An informative introduction explains the history of the tea ceremony and the tea house. Then, in chapters written by three of the worlds most renowned architects -- Arata Isozaki, Tadao Ando, Terunobu Fujimori as well as a fourth with text by Hiroshi Hara and Kengo Kuma, the book looks at twenty modern tea houses in Japan. Here are five men who share a fascination with exploring architectural space limited to the smallest possible spatial unit -- and the tea house is the perfect medium for satisfying this passion and curiosity.
Most of these structures are used solely for the tea ceremony, but a few have become spaces for meditation, or for simply spending quiet time alone, with a drink or a good book. Through insightful text, superb photographs and detailed drawings, The Contemporary Tea House introduces each architects philosophy and creative concerns, as well as the artistic techniques behind their constructions in materials ranging from wood and titanium to concrete, stone, and paper. The book also offers the specifications of each building, a glossary and profiles of the architects.