It was at the start of last year that we received a request from an art gallery to work on the concept of space as a spiritual habitat.
In this environment of Banmu Tang, we want the building to reflect solar terms that are relevant to our work and our lives. So we designed two tea spaces.
Tea in fact is closely related to the solar terms and life itself. The tea table is actually a miniature space. To a designer, the process of setting up a tea table shows his understanding of space. Tea is an oriental beverage. As a beverage, tea also gives off a sense of cultural belonging.
Soil is very rich in Taiwan. We started using mud as the material for construction. Actually we just made a mud wall. The red surface on it was laterite. The Taiwanese used to cover salted duck egg with laterite. When we made the mud nest, we employed the concept of ‘Bamboo with Mud’. First we split the bamboo and used it to structure a circular arc. Since the mud was dark grey in color, using it to design the space presented a relatively quiet feeling.
When you use mud as material to design a space, it has the ability to adjust the indoor atmosphere. Entering this mud room, from my personal experience, my senses become very acute. When the natural outdoor light comes into this room, the room suddenly changes to a small theater. That sort of change due to light and shadow is quite common here..
When we designed the mud room, we made four exits. When you come in, you will find there is a good amount of circulation. We dug several holes on the top and bottom of the room. So you have the chance to appreciate the outdoors through the skylight.
So, after this mud room was done, it was ready tea meetings. But it couldn\'t fit many people. Up to 12 people in here at a time and I feel that’s enough because you do not touch others when you stretch out your arms.
This space was later used for tea, which is interesting. When your senses become acute, your ability to taste and smell improves too. So when we keep an appropriate distance between each other, our senses improve. We can know each other better just by communicating with our eyes. That is a strong form of communication.