HANTEN / Tea house and Tea ceremony

Orticolario 2015
Villa Erba
Como Lake (Italy)

On the lawn in front of the International Exhibition and Congress Centre at Villa Erba, sixteen square metres of carefully arranged white gravel mark the square space of a Zen garden. Nearby, a smaller grassy square houses the Tea House. Designed by Japanese landscape architects ENZO and Yukiteru HIRAI, the garden follows the tradition of ‘dry landscape’. White gravel symbolizes water, while dark slate stones mark the path to the Tea House. Minimal vegetation, including brass blades of grass by Barbara Crimella, adds to that symbolic place. The Tea House, known as Hanten, usually cubic in shape, is created by Jukai with a few plant lines, like a decisive sketch. It frames the grassy area of the garden, blurring the line between inside and outside. It has two entrances: a larger one for guests and a smaller side entrance for service. Floral decorations and warm light from Japanese paper lanterns and tall wax candles invite guests to attend ceremonies led by Master Shouko KAWAHARA.

Hanten and its garden are the result of collaboration between landscape architecture, contemporary design, and art, reflecting an intense dialogue between Italian and Japanese cultures.

Project team: Vaprio Zanoni / Floema, Barbara Crimella, Jukai, ENZO, Yukiteru HIRAI, Architect TAITAN, Shouko KAWAHARA, Eriko TAMAI, Akino IIDA

Curator Alessandra Alliata Nobili.

Hanten, Casa del Té