The Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale is worth seeing

As part of this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto presented an interesting completely transparent pavilion on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

The author Hiroshi Sugimoto had the traditional Japanese ceremony of serving and drinking tea in mind when designing the pavilion. The pavilion consists of two elements, a courtyard with a water pool and a completely transparent glass cube. The arrangement of the courtyard leads the visitor past the reflective water surface into the transparent space in which it takes place an ancient tea ritual.

A transparent pavilion in which the tea ceremony takes place.
A transparent pavilion in which the tea ceremony takes place.

The pavilion can only be visited by two visitors at a time, who are served by a tea ceremony master. Around thirty observers are allowed to attend the ceremony from the courtyard.

The fence that surrounds the yard is made of cedar wood, imported especially for this occasion from the area of Japan that was affected by the tsunami in 2011. The combination of traditional wood and modern glass indicates the connection of history and technology, and the author also looks for parallels between the Japanese tea ceremony and Venetian glassmaking, since in both cases it is a custom deeply rooted in the culture of the nation.

The glass pavilion is connected to the shore of the pool via two bridges; eastern and western. This direction indicates the integration of different knowledge, traditions, paths to perfection and ideals of beauty. You can visit the pavilion at to see the Venice Architecture Biennale until November 2014.

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