Tea house in Atami
Atami, Shizuoka, Japan
- Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop
- Atami, Shizuoka, Japan
We were approached by a retired couple to design a tea house, which is a small building of about 60 square meters. The site is located a short walk from Kinomiya Shrine, up a steep slope. The site itself was carved out of this slope, which made for an environment that felt rather violent. However, there is a slight gradient that extends toward the depth of the site, and the pleasant sound of a babbling brook can be heard all along the premises. We imagined architecture that would protect customers from such a violent environment so they could fully savor the small charms that can be seen and heard hidden away from the surroundings.
In the longitudinal direction of the long and narrow site, there is a concrete retaining wall to protect against landslides from the top of the cliff and a deep foundation which has been lowered from the bottom of the cliff to the line of the angle of repose, in compliance with regulations for building near cliffs. The light wooden frames were hung on the L-shaped reinforced concrete structure lifted from the ground. Reinforced concrete construction protects customers from severe environments, and the wooden frame softly wraps the person. We felt this to be the most suitable structure for this site. In addition, since the horizontal force is borne by the concrete structure, it was not necessary to install any structural reinforcements in the upper wooden portion that would obstruct the scenery.
In a space where the ceiling height is kept to 2,100 mm, customers can rest themselves on a bench integrated with the concrete structure and fully enjoy a view of the trees spreading beyond the eaves and the sound of the babbling stream.