Zen Lounge III

Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hisao Suzuki

One of the first things a person, living in a megalopolis, would think after acquiring one’s home is probably to long for time to spend in nature. If we were to name it “Second-house” syndrome, it would be appropriate to call this project a proposal for a “Third-place”. It is a space for those who already live in the city to return to the city in a different relationship.
The space was requested to be residential as well as to be a working office. And in addition, there was a unique request to be able to host a tea ceremony performed with table and chairs, not in a traditional style, but in a contemporary style. Facing such demands, I rediscovered the idea of “Sho-in”, a traditional style of Japanese residential architecture, which not only supports multiple uses such as residence and work space but also has a relation to the establishment of the teahouse in the 15th century.
The project was to renovate one unit on the seventh floor of a nine-story urban housing complex built in the mid 70’s. The plaster finish on the walls and ceilings, chestnut flooring, black-rusted wall panels, staggered shelf and floor shelf in the same black-rusted steel, the solid aluminum upper panel, and the Thai silk-finished panels are all selected as a proposal for a new “Sho-in” space in order to bring together the context of tradition encountering the contemporariness.