Nestled in a delicate moss and pebble landscape, the Teahouse is a space for stillness and quiet amidst the busy downtown core of Vancouver. The Tea House embodies the Japanese philosophy of chado, which implies an essential way of life, one that is closely aligned to the metaphysical notion of “being.” At the most refined level, the ceremony takes place in the tea house. The solitude of the tea ceremony evokes a deep meditative stillness, bringing the beholder’s awareness back to the most basic level of consciousness.
Tea Houses are usually small, simple wooden buildings, located in the gardens or grounds of private homes or on grounds of temples, museums, and parks. Instead of designing a closed wooden structure, Kengo Kuma – the renowned Japanese architect also designing a residential tower in Vancouver – used steel and glass to frame expansive views over Coal Harbour. Local Douglas Fir was used in place of traditional Japanese cedar. The shoji screens were covered in Japanese washi paper and the tatami mats were handmade in Japan. Carefully detailed and thoughtfully crafted, the tea house is a modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese structure.