Chashitsu, which is the Japanese term for a teahouse or tea room is a construction specifically designed for holding the Tea Ceremony, a traditional Japanese ritual in which the host prepares and serves tea for guests. Teahouses are usually small, intimate wooden buildings, where every detail is intended to help withdraw the individual from the material disturbances of the world.
Teahouses involve a special setting meant to suggest a contemplative mood and feel the awakening of the senses through the connection with nature and others. This can be done through special attention to the surroundings; usually peaceful gardens serving as beautiful scenery; or through architectural decisions such as the low door -symbolizing that all who enter must lower themselves-, and minimal interior furnishings or strict etiquette.
Contemporary architects have taken on the challenge of pushing modern interpretations of the traditional teahouses while maintaining the simplistic beauty and strong roots in the purposes of traditional teahouses. The use of innovative materials and new technology has allowed architects to venture onto entirely unexplored territory. In this article, we present six examples of this experimental spirit.