Casa de Chà by Álvaro Siza
The Boa Nova Casa de Chà – the Teahouse – is the first building by Portuguese architect and Pritzker prize winner Álvaro Siza Vieira. Originally built from 1958-63, the architect himself sensitively renovated the building in 2014. Today it houses the haute cuisine restaurant by chef Rui Paula.
The path to the building is in itself interesting: No direct route leads from the parking lot to the hilly building ground. Instead the architect integrates several turns for the visitor to undergo including steps seemingly leading into the ocean. The name tea house already brings to mind the Japanese tradition of the tea ceremony which is closely related to Zen-Buddhism. Of course Siza is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Nonetheless the path to the tea house reveals a more profound engagement with Japanese architecture: In fact it can be read as a »rite of passage« known as a preliminary architecture element in Shinto temples.