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Time for tea

05 September 2011

teahouse group - webConstructing the teahouse

First and second year Cardiff students have mastered an ancient building technique to construct a traditional 16th century Japanese teahouse.

Nine students, led by Takeshi Hayatsu and Kristin Trommler, worked on the project as part of the Vertical Studio programme at the Welsh School of Architecture. They explored the architecture of traditional and contemporary teahouses and based their design on the 16th century Tai-an teahouse in the Myoukian temple in Kyoto.

The students used the ancient Celtic wattle and daub technique, which they were taught by staff at the Museum of Welsh Life in St Fagans. A woven lattice of wood, or wattle, is slotted between a timber frame and daubed with a sticky material. For their building, the students used a hand-mixed daub of clay, lime and dung.

With the help of Forestry Commission Wales, they gathered hundreds of hazel sticks coppiced from Parc y Van woodland near Caerphilly to use as a key component for the timber-framed building.

teahouse 1 - web

The teahouse was constructed over two and a half weeks and measures about two metres by two metres.

Sergio Pineda, Lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture, said: "We are delighted that the Teahouse project was part of Vertical Studio 2011 at the Welsh School of Architecture. The vision proposed by Takeshi and Kristin was to create something new from a traditional Japanese typology, transforming its physical presence by employing different construction methods from the original.

"Along with the students, they made use of ancient and contemporary techniques based on locally sourced materials. The result is a compelling teahouse that engages with the landscape and invites people to sit and relax for their tea break in the garden."

Vertical Studio takes place in the Summer Term, providing a fantastic opportunity for students to work together, broadening their experience in research and design.

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