Don’t let the tilt-shift photography trick you – what looks a little like a miniature model is a real set and setting; specifically, a tea house burrowed down into an overgrown backyard … like a series of old foundations, or half-excavated architectural remnants emerging from the Earth.
Set in the historic Japanese city of Hokkaido and designed by Jun Igarashi,you could easily mistake this from the street or sidewalk for a pile of scraps or abstract modern sculpture sitting in someones neglected garden.
Two bunker-like concrete buildings sit entrenched, surrounded by a concrete wall, creating a secluded subterranean refuge to retreat and relax in. Slim stairs lead down below, while a 360-degree slit allows air and light to pass in freely.
And, as the chairs in the picture suggest, the top serves not only to shelter the spaces underneath (when it rains or snows), but also as a table surface for above-ground tea times too (during better weather).