A view to the garden

It was always my dream to have a place to make tea for friends. It needed to be an empty room at least nine feet square. Our house didn’t have space, but we did have a tiny patch of land in the back yard.

In Japan in the 16th and 17th century, Tea was a dynamic part of the culture. Urban retreats were in vogue where poetry and tea gatherings took place in thatched huts built in the back gardens of city homes.

In this setting merchants and warlords avidly cultivated one another. Tea gatherings framed discussions of war and trade, but they also were occasions for the appreciation of art, architecture, interior design, food preparation, and gardening.

With this spirit of the modest thatched retreat I designed a tea house in the back of my property. I hoped to build a refuge or a place that had the feel of what Rikyu, the great Tea master of the 16th century called, “A place of tranquility”.

– excerpt A Tea Garden in Tivoli