In preparation for a collaboration with renowned Japanese architect and historian, Terunobu Fujimori, Unit 5 explored and researched the use of timber and traditional carpentry techniques on their trip to Japan.
The designs for a teahouse, to be exhibited at the Barbican, were discussed with Fujimori over green tea at his house in Tokyo. On their return to the UK, the students translated his sketches into working drawings and set about building the teahouse in the university’s workshop.
The teahouse featured many elements which are often seen in Fujimori’s work; notably the use of ‘yakisugi’ (charred timber) as external cladding and pieces of charcoal which adorn the white plaster walls.
Following a successful trial run in Kingston University’s library the final panellised structure was constructed over the course of one week at the Barbican and formed part of ‘The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945’ exhibition in 2017.