Glass Tea House Mondrian

by Hiroshi Sugimoto

The “Glass Tea House Mondrian” is a new initiative of LE STANZE DEL VETRO, broadening its horizons, and involving internationally-renowned artists to plan and design a site-specific architectural pavilion.

The “Glass Tea House Mondrian” by Hiroshi Sugimoto is inspired by pre-modern abstraction, as perfected by Sen no Rikyû, in the Japanese tradition of the tea ceremony. “I decided that a Japanese transliteration of the name ‘Mondrian’ would be an ideal name. I combined three characters — 聞鳥庵 – that betoken ‘a modest house where one can hear the birds sing.’ I like to think that this tea house was designed by Mondrian after he heard Sen no Rikyû speaking to him through the singing of the birds”, says artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The pavilion consists of two main elements, an open-air landscape courtyard and an enclosed glass cube. The landscape courtyard (40m long and 12.5m wide) follows a path along a reflecting pool leading the visitor to a glass cube (2.5mx2.5m). Inspired by the Ise-shrine, the exterior fence around the pavilion is made entirely of cedar wood and realised through the contribution of Sumitomo Forestry Co. Ltd. Hiroshi Sugimoto and Sumitomo Forestry chose the cedar wood from the Tohoku region, which is committed to helping reconstruct areas that were devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

At the centre of the landscape courtyard, the long reflecting pool, made of glass mosaics, represents the other main feature of the installation; it leads the visitor to the key area of the pavilion – the glass tea house. The reflecting pool was made possible thanks to the collaboration with Fondazione Bisazza. Technical know-how and artisan traditions are combined in the construction of the glass cube and wooden elements, bringing together history and modernity, craftsmanship and technology. The glass cube is made by the Asahi Building-Wall Co. Ltd, a leading company in the production of architectural glass structures and engineering solutions for glass facades and structural building elements.

The tea utensils used in the tea ceremony were designed by Hiroshi Sugimoto and produced by craftsmen in Kyoto. For this occasion Hiroshi Sugimoto designed a limited-edition glass tea bowl which was produced at Simone Cenedese’s furnace in Murano. The glass tea bowl is for sale at the bookshop of LE STANZE DEL VETRO. The “Glass Tea House Mondrian” is an innovative project that provides a space in which to experience architecture, where the pavilion itself becomes the exhibition, an innovative example in which the artist freely suggests a theme and a project, allowing experimentation with the setting, shapes, building techniques and innovative materials.

 

Open every day except on Wednesdays, 10.00 am – 4.30 pm, until its closure, scheduled on the 29th November 2016.

 

View the catalogue

  • Hiroshi Sugimoto. Glass Tea House Mondrian © Hiroshi Sugimoto + New Material Research Laboratory. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO. Photo: Enrico Fiorese
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto. Glass Tea House Mondrian © Hiroshi Sugimoto + New Material Research Laboratory. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO. Photo: Enrico Fiorese
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto. Glass Tea House Mondrian © Hiroshi Sugimoto + New Material Research Laboratory. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO. Photo: Enrico Fiorese
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto. Glass Tea House Mondrian © Hiroshi Sugimoto + New Material Research Laboratory. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO. Photo: Enrico Fiorese