JAPANESE TEA HOUSE AND CULTURAL CENTRE

India Center foundation, Delhi and Tokyo

New Delhi

2007

10,000 sqft

Cultural

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The design of Japanese Tea House and Conferencing facility focused on finding common ground between Indian and Japanese cultural outlook; and reconciling functions, site conditions and availability of materials & craftsmanship, with the proportion, aesthetics and essence of tea houses.The key to the project was discovering the concept of Wabi Sabi - finding beauty in the incomplete, imperfect, a philosophy that deeply influences Japanese aesthetic, notably traditional tea houses. We chose to import a few elements - shoji paper and tatami mats, and build the rest on site - interpreting the original Tea house elements in terms of what was locally available, making that a fundamental determinant of the design. We engaged the ‘outside’ by planning the landscape as a series of journeys with pauses in pathways and playful elements in the greens.

'Wabi Sabi' - finding beauty in the incomplete, imperfect, a philosophy that deeply influences Japanese aesthetic, notably traditional tea houses. Incomplete and imperfect are values usually associated negatively in India, especially in the building fraternity. It was a surprise to see a concept interpreting these words differently, celebrating seeming imperfections as uniqueness, respectfully recognizing that the passage of time imbues every action and object with an inherent incompletion, a story yet to unfold.

 

It was important to find a common ground between the different cultural requirements, reconciling functions, site conditions and availability of materials and craftsmanship, with the proportion, aesthetics and essence of tea houses. We chose to import few elements - shoji paper and tatami mats, and build the rest on site - interpreting the original Tea House elements in terms of what was available locally, and make that a fundamental determinant of the design.

 

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