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Umbrella Tea House, Japan, Kazuhiro Yajima

Highly Commended in the ar+d Awards for Emerging Architecture, a paper and bamboo structure by Kazuhiro Yajima displays rigorous economy of material as it reinterprets a traditional archetype

Fabricated from a single piece of bamboo, this prototypical structure is designed to house the ancient and highly proscribed rituals of the Japanese tea ceremony. Intended to be easily assembled and dismantled, it has its origins in the elegance, simplicity and portability of the traditional oriental parasol. The cylindrical tea house is 2750mm in diameter, its proportions dictated by the need to accommodate two tatami mats.

A single bamboo tube 200mm in diameter was split into 50 ribs that make up the structure. Floor and roof resemble bicycle wheels or umbrellas, with slim bamboo spokes radiating out from a central hub.Wrapped in a lightweight translucent skin of rice paper, the bamboo frame is self supporting and can expand and collapse in on itself, becoming, in effect, one piece of bamboo again.The jury applauded the project’s ingenuity and economy and how it reinterpreted traditional techniques and archetypes in a convincing contemporary manner.



Umbrella Tea House, Japan, Kazuhiro Yajima

Creative supervisor/ Tea ceremony direction: Soshin Kimura
Technical planning & Construction: HIYOSHIYA Co. Ltd.
Photo: Satoshi Shigeta (nacasa&partners)


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