Zen Lounge II

western Japan
Hisao Suzuki

At occasions in which this Zen temple was to host highly important ceremonies, the room was designed to be a waiting room for the guest from the head temple during the ceremony and to be a study for the chief priest afterwards.
The client’s wish was to turn the attic space, which is located on the top story of the reinforced concrete Japanese-style temple completed in 1988, and on the upper side of the main temple, into a modern contemporary space yet also having a sense of tradition. As the adjoining flat roof was also possibly the subject for the renovation, turning the roof into a garden was going to create a garden space that only can be viewed from the interior of the penthouse study. I’ve decided that the garden should be the main feature of this space. Coming back from the ceremony, one encounters the landscape of “Buddhist Heaven” from the attic.
The interior design of this space corresponds to that of the main temple downstairs. As a comparison to the traditional architecture of the temple space, using “lines” mainly for the design in a traditional Japanese way, the principle was to compose the space with “planes” with a modernist approach and yet to use authentic materials at the same time, as in the main temple. The water garden, the plasterwork on the walls and ceilings, the roughly-finished chestnut flooring in the Japanese tradition, the hanging black-rusted steel panel and the Venetian style stucco-coated ceiling panels, are selected with such an intention.