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Location: Hrabina Water Reservoir

The Hrabina Reservoir is located in the western part of the town of Český Těšín, in the area between the road bypassing the town to the Chotěbuz border crossing and the road leading from Havířov through Český Těšín to the town of Třinec. Lípová Street and the main road to Havířov or Ostravská Street lead to the dam. The reservoir was built in the Hrabina Valley on the Hrabinka River in 1953 and covers an area of less than 9 hectares. The reservoir is mainly used for flood protection, sport fishing and recreational purposes.

The dam was built in the 1950s as a recreational area for the inhabitants of Český Těšín. Construction works were carried out by the Třinecké stavby company in 1953. The reservoir was surrounded by beaches, there was a restaurant and a clubhouse of the boating club of Třinec Ironworks. In 1962, the first fishing competitions were held there

TASK- to create Tea Pavilion

The traditional tea ceremony takes place in a special pavilion located in the garden. All its elements create an atmosphere of tranquillity and symbolise detachment from the outside world and everyday affairs. The ceremony takes place in an atmosphere of dignity and concentration, following strict rules.

Arriving guests are greeted by the host with a bow at the gate. Guests enter the garden and here walk around, admiring the plants and stone compositions. All meet together at the

garden bench, in order to select a 'chief guest of honour’ (shōkyaku). This is the person among the invitees who is regarded as the most respectable and knowledgeable in terms of chakai etiquette. Its role is to take care – together with the host – of the atmosphere of the meeting and to serve the example. Guests pause for a long moment at the spring, where each chanoyu participant, using a wooden scoop, fetches water and washes their hands with it and rinses their mouth. This activity must be performed with concentration -everyone cleanses their body and spirit in a symbolic way.

  • the space of the pavilion/construction should contain a stand for the master of the ceremony who conducts the ceremony and the persons taking part in the ceremony (1+5 persons)
  • the wabi sabi style, the style of Japanese tea pavilions – the coherence of each design element so that the whole forms a coherent whole – the Zen philosophy 
  •  if possible, it would be ideal to include a water element in the design (whether as a decorative, harmonising element) 
  •  the tea sea is a wooden stand which is used to brew tea on – in such a way that dripping or pouring water does not disturb it, it simply flows into the pot – this is part of the tea ceremony.
  • if possible, the structure should be roofed and have the possibility to open and close the structure -install the sides – so that the furniture can also be used in the rain 
  • a combination of tea tradition with a contemporary touch, freshness of form, simple form referring to the Zen philosophy 



The project Countess Tea Spot was created in the area of the Hrabinka Nature Reserve, on the very shore of the dam, which turned out to be the perfect place to create this type of infrastructure. The simple, open structure based on a square plan evokes the traditional forms of Japanese tea pavilions, the feeling of being in the Land of the Rising Sun is also enhanced by the skillful use of white fabric – suspended at an angle in the upper part of the structure, which gives the furniture lightness and ephemeral character. The pavilion invites you to experience closeness with nature by focusing the attention of visitors on the reservoir – its sight, sound and movement. The interior can accommodate at least six people, who can sit down together during the tea ceremony. The form of the furniture has been influenced by several rules according to which the traditional tea drinking ceremony takes place. To enter the platform, participants must bend slightly under the lower beam, echoing the small doors of traditional pavilions called nijiri-guchi. It symbolizes the equality of all participants in the ceremony. From the entrance to the pavilion – the recipient’s eyes are directed to the wide-open window with a breathtaking view of the reservoir. Seats positioned on the floor along the table on both sides (three on one side, three on the other) invite you to sit on your lap, as in Japanese culture. Plywood covering the lower part of the structure gives visitors a sense of privacy, detachment from the surroundings and everyday matters. The low table in the middle is perfect for putting your cups down after drinking, it can also be easily used as a bench. The form of the pavilion follows the elements of Japanese ideology which focuses on simplicity and ascetic sophistication. That is why the table is the only piece of furniture in the pavilion and the only one necessary so that nothing distracts the participants from the ceremony and the nature that surrounds them.

Student participiants:

Jan Chmurski, Maciej Kuratczyk, Michał Teodorczyk, Maria Pawłowa, Katarzyna Owczarska, Julia Kurnik, Aleksandra Gospodarek, Alicja Łosik

Tutor: GRAU

Architects from Slovakia

Andrej Olah + Jana Filípková + Alexandra Májska

GRAU is an architectural studio based in Bratislava, Slovakia, founded in 2014,  led by Andrej Olah and Filip Marčák. GRAU works on different scales of projects, from interiors to public buildings. Architects always try to play with context in context, do not fake, work with honest materials and approaches. Office work from whole to detail, from vision to realization. Grau are constantly looking for connections between interior and exterior.