The Japanese House: architecture and life after 1945
2016 - 2017
Hayatsu Architects worked with Japanese architect and historian Terunobu Fujimori to design and construct a Tea House for the Japanese House exhibition at the Barbican Centre in 2017. The Fujimori Tea House is one of two 1:1 installations commissioned for the London show, alongside a replica of Moriyama House designed by Ryue Nishizawa.
Fujimori maintains that buildings can be made by non-professional people and the Fujimori Tea House follows this principle. It was constructed by the hands of students and tutors from Kingston University, under the guidance of the London based Japanese architect Takeshi Hayatsu. The exterior cladding utilises Yakisugi, charred timber produced using the traditional Japanese charring technique. The charring workshop was held at Weald and Downland Living Museum in West Sussex in January 2017, organised by Kingston University as part of their pedagogy. The structure was prefabricated at the University’s workshop. The bronze cast handles, ceramic lampshades, hearth, vase and plywood stools were also handmade by students from Kingston’s architecture, product and furniture design courses.
The Fujimori Tea House, an original commission for the Barbican exhibition, forms part of a garden, an interpretation of a traditional Japanese tea garden. The garden represents the traditional form and arrangement closely linked with the ritual of the tea ceremony, arranged around the Barbican’s massive central concrete column. The 16th century tea master Sen No Rikyu established three principles which Fujimori follows. A small, confined entry way, a small interior space, and a hearth containing fire in the room. Guests to the Fujimori Tea House are invited by the host to enter through a gate clad in charred timber, dividing the outer and inner territories. A narrow path leads to a water bowl and a lantern to wash hands before entering the Fujimori Tea House. When reaching the Tea House, which is elevated on chestnut stilts and oak beams, guests are asked to take off their shoes and enter from underneath via a ladder. The interior is 3 x 3 m, the size of four and half tatami mats, a typical size standardised 400 years ago in Japan. It is designed to accommodate six people, sitting, circling a central hearth.
The Fujimori Tea House does not following certain Japanese traditions, such as the use of a tatami mat floor, shoji paper screens and Tokonoma, an alcove for ornamental artefacts. Instead guests sit on a plastered floor, facing a corner of the room, decorated with charcoal on the white plaster by Fujimori by himself, a ceramic vase and a lampshade made by the students lighting up a living flower in the room.
Tea House team
Terunobu Fujimori, Takeshi Hayatsu
Kingston Unit 5 students
Elle Bytautaite, Madoka Ellis, Vivian Goncalves, Salah Krichen, Jenifer Ly, Nima Taghizoghi, Gemma Thompson, Benjamin Tynegate, Matthew Wynn, Tareq Arafat, Zachariah Chapman, Pablo Feito Boirac, Tiago Manetti, Ivan Markovic, Najim Marufi, Jonathan Rees, Guy Thomson, Etienne Wijnen
Kingston product design students
Sammi Cherryman, Minsu Kim, Qili Chen, Sabrina Li
Kingston bronze casting students
Nargiz Abasova, Jamie De Linares Florido, Serina Harb, Ryan Huxford, Mufaddal Nagree, Peter James
Kingston support stuff
Jim Reed, Kingston 3D Workshop, Carl Clerkin
Price & Myers (George Reed & David Darby)
Florence Ostende, Lucy Styles, Luke Naessens, Peter Sutton, Bruce Stacy, Hattie Spires
Weald and Downland Living Museum
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