On the Boards
Parks / Outdoor Spaces
Japanese Tea Garden Renovation
2005 San Antonio, Texas
The Japanese Tea Garden project consisted of the restoration of the beautiful historic Garden Pagoda and Tea House. The beautiful views the Pagoda captures makes this spot a point of interest in the garden. The Tea house was in a state of disrepair and needed special attention for its reconstruction. The over grown indigenous vegetation attracts a variety of wildlife; thus, special care and consideration had to be taken for the restoration construction of the Pagoda. Provisions that were made included tree protection and a clean construction site throughout. The restoration consisted of the replacement of the wood shingle and palm thatch roof, wood structural members were re-stiffened, and masonry walls and columns were repainted.
The Japanese Tea Garden has a rich history, and understanding it was an important aspect in restoring the buildings to their original designs. Some of the challenges consisted of studying the original design vision along with understanding many of the Japanese traditional building and lighting techniques. This knowledge enhanced DJD ability to ensure structural integrity of a building system not typically used in the area. It also offered an opportunity to study of different lighting techniques for not only natural lighting but for artificial lighting. Given the history of the Voelcker Farm structures, the same concept of learning for the past could become an important component in the design of the ecology center.