Teahouse / A1 Architects

Architects: David Maštálka / A1 Architects
Location: Prague,
Client: David Maštálka and Lenka Kremenová
Project year: 2008 (35 days)
Contractor: Vojtěch Bilišic , scupltor and carpenter (Slovak Republic)
Collaborators: Lenka Kremenová, Marta Maštálková, Rudolf Maštálka
Dome construction: Jan Bašta
Opponency of Diploma Project: Terunobu Fujimori , University of Tokyo
Interpreting: Petr Holý, Director of Czech Center in Tokyo
Surface Area: 3,75 sqm
Construction Area: 7 sqm
Photographs: Ester Havlová

The Garden

At the foot of the hill dividing Hloubetin and Aloisov you’ll find a small garden. The garden is unostentatious, slightly wild but even so graceful, each spring apple and cherry trees blossom and when summer swiftly blows upon us our sight of the passing clouds is surrounded by slim blades of grass.

The teahouse as a minimal place to gather

The Teahouse as a typological kind follows the Japanese tradition of minimizing space and is intended as place the meet with guest at a cup of tea. I am not an orthodox worshiper of the tea cult, however I am very interested in the theme of it being a place to gather with friends. From the outside an inconspicuous structure is ready to surprise it’s visitors upon arriving inside, giving them a different perspective of the garden. A world hidden inside, where time flows at its own pace, an vacant space leaving an impression just by its spaciousness. When first reasoning about such a place I thought of the places that had made an impression upon me and came to the decision of building it on a circular platform enclosed by a translucent dome breathing the inner peace of small sacred buildings. Diffused rays of light illuminate the quarters within; the translucent dome resembles the sky and the hearth – the home. The spherical shape directs your attention to the hearth, on which the tea is prepared and creates a close bondage with all who are present.


structure axo

Natural material

The inner walls are constituted on one side by a view of the garden and on the other a clay parget. Guests set themselves down on the matt and the hearth is welded black steel. The dome laminated within is pasted with paper, through which light shines and invitingly illuminates the space inside.

Minimal place to gather

The Teahouse serves as a place for gathering with guests. The invitation itself begins a certain tense moment of anticipation, during which we would like to present our guests with a enjoyable experience. The moment of gathering where we share our feelings and impressions – our own mutual closeness which I think can not be better depicted by anyone other than master Sen no Rikyú.

  • A house and dewed ground
  • Guest and host
  • Drinking together a cup of tea
  • In quiet contemplation
  • In spiritual symphony

Building and construction

Carpented oak construction stands on stones from a nearby pond. Burnt larch facing creates a mimic colouring effect of a building in a garden because the attention of the gathering itself is focused on the inner world, which one discloses only upon entering. The master of construction is Vojtech Bilisic with whom I built the Teahouse in 35 days during the months of April and May 2008.


For great help I thank first of all my beloved Lenka, Vojta, sister Marta, professor Terunobu Fujimori, who visited during construction and Petr Holý, who heartedly interpreted our rendezvous.

Cite: "Teahouse / A1 Architects" 29 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 21 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=26964>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i live in a small valley full of apple orchards and now lately peach trees also among every thing else.some of our orchards are very old and beautiful,but my wouldn’t it be
    amazing to see that litle teahouse at the turn of every backroad corner.thank you.

    annapolis valley of nova scotia

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I cannot believe that this is designed by Czech.
    I like the dome and scent, cozy room.
    I wish I could be there with a friend.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    why did you copy – paste/pu t away your traditional japanese house in prage? does it match with prage culture?

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