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MORIYUKI OCHIAI ARCHITECTS

- Constellation of Stargazing Tea Ceremony House -

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Constellation of Stargazing Tea Rooms / SEI-AN

We designed a cluster of tea rooms offering a vievbw of the surrounding scenery and the starlit sky as an "tea house connecting people to the stars and nature" located in the town of Bisei, Okayama Prefecture, known as a sanctuary for stargazing.

The site is surrounded by rolling hills and distant mountains and offers a view on a spectacular landscape. Deliverables included a place able to accommodate a variety of events held throughout the year by the Astronomy Club and the Tea Ceremony Club as well as a performance stage for concerts and plays.

Named after two rivers running though it, the town of Bisei ("beautiful stars" in English) is found in Okayama Prefecture which is also known for being the birthplace of Eisei, a Japanese Buddhist priest, credited with introducing green tea to Japan. In alignment with its heritage, the constellation of tea rooms is also in harmony with the surrounding undulating terrain, thus creating a landscape in which the indoor and outdoor expand seamlessly like the flow of a river under the Milky Way.

The open arrangement of the structures forms a stage conductive to various events and activities by creating a space where multiple indoor and outdoor activities become possible.
The Japanese tea room was developed as an enclosed microcosm called a "enclosure," and as such each unit is designed as a spatial installation where one can perceive minute changes in its natural surroundings and experience the wonder and mystery of natural phenomena.

Painted with stellar colors, each volume presents polygonal openings from which can be taken in the beautiful offerings of nature such as light, rain and the starry night sky. Moreover, mirrors placed on the exterior walls reflect the ever-changing outdoor environment like the water surface of rice paddies scattered across Bisei, thus modifying the look and perception of the constructions throughout the day.

Visitors can experience the project as a galaxy of tea rooms built independently as they move in and around them freely. The outdoor space, taken as the space comprised between the tea rooms, the surrounding nature and the starry sky are beautifully intertwined to form a "new landscape" that comes in and out of view through the openings and gaps cut out from the multiple structures. The loose gathering of tea rooms forms an extension of the landscape and creates an environment enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities.

By merging together this newly formed belt of tea rooms with the idyllic hills, mountains and starry skies of Bisei, we sought to realize a tea house that reshapes the town's panorama.

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星庵 / 星空を眺める茶室群
SEI-AN / Constellation of Stargazing Tea Ceremony House

星空観察の聖地と言われる岡山県・美星町に設置する「星や自然と、人とを繋ぐ装置/茶室」として、星空や風景を眺めるための茶室群の計画。

敷地は、周囲の連続する丘や、遠方の山々に囲まれた美しい景色が望める場所であり、そこに、一年を通して開催される、星空の観察会、茶会、音楽会・演劇などの舞台公演など、様々なイベント活動に対応できる場が求められた。 

そこで、地元岡山県出身の栄西が喫茶の文化を日本に広めたこと、町の名の由来である二つの川(美山川、星田川)と、天空の天の川を意識し、茶室を川の流れのように、周囲の起伏する地形と調和させながら配置し、屋内外が連続して展開する一つの風景を創り出す。

茶室を開放的な群の構成にすることで、屋内外で様々な活動が可能な余白としての居場所を作り出し、様々なイベント活動を誘発する舞台となっている。
茶室は元々「囲い」と呼ばれる閉じられた小宇宙的な空間から出発したが、その成り立ちを意識し、ここでは移ろいゆく自然の変化を繊細に感知し、自然現象の驚きと神秘の真相を体感する空間装置として考えた。
星の色で塗られた茶室には多角形の孔が開けられ、そこから光や風や雨、そして星空など、美しい自然の気配が取り込まれる。壁面の反射するミラーは、美星町に点在する水田の水面のように、刻々と変化する自然の移ろいを写し出し、茶室の表情と印象を変化させていく。

訪れた人々は、独立して建つ茶室群を一戸一戸訪ねるように体験し、茶室の屋内外を自由に散策していく。
茶室同士に囲まれた余白としての屋外空間と、周囲の自然や星空が美しく混ざり合い、複数の茶室の開口部や隙間から切り取られた「新しい風景」が繰り返し現れていく。茶室群と風景との連続した柔らかい集まりは、そこでの人々の活動の楽しさと喜びを拡大する環境を創出する。

美星町の美しい丘や山々や星空と、新しい存在である茶室群が一体的に融合し、美星町の新しい風景を創出していく装置/茶室の実現を目指した。


→美星町
「日本三選星名所」にも選ばれ、日本で最も美しい星空に包まれる町、星空観察の聖地と言われる。
「美しい星空を守る条例」が制定され、屋外照明は22時以降に消灯、家の明かりが外に漏れないようカーテンを閉めるなど、町ぐるみで美しい星空が眺められるような取り組みが行われている。


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category : tea house
location : japan
date : 2018
Client: irbisei, nijigennomori/Pasona Group
Design Member : Moriyuki Ochiai,Jillian Lei, Xingguang Li, Marie Uno,Haruka Amano,Yuta Takahashi
Constructor: CA leading(Osami Hiroyama,Masakazu Hirose ,Yoshiko Makabe,Kazuya Okuno,Sanae Iwamoto),Takei Construction,Soken Group,
Special Paint: Osamu Yamaguchi
Paint: Masanao Uchida
Lighting: Color Kinetics Japan(Masaki Yamashita,Koki Yano,Miyahara Yusuke)
Soundsystem: Yoshiyuki Kanamori
Videography:Kazuma Goto,Noriko Nishiguchi,Shinichi Hisamatsu,Hajime Kishii
Tea ceremony set: Nanzan Ito,Kenyu Mitsuhashi,Yuko Nakano
Tea ceremony: Fumiko Miyake , Fujimi Ishikawa
Cooperator: Norihiro Ariyoshi(soken group),Yoshinori Takedo(grop)
Photo: Fumio Araki

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