From Publishers Weekly
This vibrant, relevant study from architects Ando, Fujimori and Isozaki looks at the present moment of a centuries-old Japanese tradition, the chashitsu, or "tea room." In first-person narratives, leading Japanese architects discuss their contemporary take on the classic tea ceremony space. Full-color photographs, design sketches and polished plans are clearly laid out along with text, and each chapter focuses on a number of works by a single architect. Fujimori's chapter, for example, includes an elaborate tree-top tea house, an "enormous woven bamboo birdcage" called The Forum and a room built especially to host France's President Chirac. Ando gets to the heart of the matter in his statement of purpose: "not to dwell solely on the abstract; but to explore abstract concepts by expressing them through material phenomena." Three more architects-Isozaki, Kengo Kuma and Hiroshi Hara-discuss their designs, and how they relate to the genre's traditions, in similar terms, focusing on the "tension between abstraction and representation." Especially fascinating are discussions of materials used: for Fujimori, the most important components are "raw, unworked materials" and "amateur artisans" to do all the building. Throughout, the houses' elegance and simplicity are reflected in the text; lush images, meanwhile, provide tranquil warmth and a real sense of place.
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"Sumptuous look at one of Japan's most ancient architectural forms."--Financial Times."..visually stunning book." Celebrated Living"Whether you're interested in tea, architecture, Japanese gardens or simply beautiful things and spaces, this intriguing, elegant book is likely to capture your sensibilities. Minneapolis Star Tribune"Through insightful text, superb photographs and detailed drawings, The Contemporary Tea House introduces each architects philosophy and creative concern, as well as the artistic techniques behind their constructions in materials ranging from wood and titanium to concrete, stone, and paper. TEA AMagazine