bringing an authentic japanese tea house to boston, by suzumori architecture
 

bringing an authentic japanese tea house to boston, by suzumori architecture

gen sou en, the tea company, has opened a new location in bostonthis tea house gives the bustling coolidge corner a little taste of  japanese culture. while the city has a bad reputation when it comes to tea, it’s clear that this authentic cafe will receive a much better reception. in japan, drinking tea goes along with much ceremony. every part of the process is given great attention to detail — needless to say, the design had to be precise.

suzumori architecture
image by shuji suzumori

 

 

like the tea itself, the space was carefully crafted by suzumori architects, a firm with japanese roots. for lead architect shuji suzumori, the traditional gen sou en philosophy was an essential prompt for his design, which had to be merged with boston’s distinct architectural context. the design has a tasteful, almost soothing simplicity and rhythm. suzumori mentioned the language of circular elements in this work, which he attributes as a reference to boston’s landscape filled with brick arches. this is where the tea house strays slightly from tradition. curvature is atypical in japanese tea houses, which tend to be linear, to suit the strict geometry of the machiya row houses. these merging of boston and japanese elements was aided by local consultants hammer design & development.

suzumori architectureimage by yorgos photography

 

 

suzumori’s design borrows elements from the classic machiya row houses, yet, he takes it into the context of boston and the 21st century without loosing the old world charm. as put by the architect ‘the tea house’s programmatic elements are nestled into gently ascending circular forms, whose clean lines house modern takes on traditional Japanese architectural features: tatami benches, horigotatsu (recessed seating), tea ceremony room, and the central nakaniwa garden, where a tree and grasses grow beneath a hooded circular skylight.’ 

suzumori architectureimage by yorgos photography

 

 

 

gen sou en specializes in green teas and also offers many japanese baked goods to complement. much like the design gen sou en takes traditional tea and creates revolutionary new blends with modern tech. internally, patrons have an array of seating arrangements where they may choose to enjoy their tea. among these are the traditional  floor mats, in the tea ceremony room, complete with tatami. every one of these arrangements maintains an eye-soothing, clean line symmetry that makes the space so relaxing. one of the most essential elements of the tea house is the courtyard, which suzumori alludes to with the beautiful circular skylight that casts defused rays of sun onto the central plant. this is the heart of the tea house.

suzumori architecture
image by yorgos photography

suzumori architecture
image by yorgos photography

suzumori architecture
image by shuji suzumori

suzumori architecture
image by shuji suzumori

suzumori architectureimage by yorgos photography

suzumori architecture
image by shuji suzumori

suzumori architecture

image by yorgos photography

suzumori architecture
image by yorgos photography

suzumori architecture
image by shuji suzumori

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