The Thomas E. Ricks Garden is a popular date destination for BYU-Idaho students. This is partly because of the many beautiful areas within the garden. A new area, inspired by a Japanese tea house, is currently under construction.
According to Architectures Style, “Japanese tea houses are widely popular across the whole country. These tea houses are the symbol of spiritual purification, one will come out with a calm mind from it.”
The tea house, also known as a Chashitsu, is a place where a tea ceremony is held.
“We are not building a full tea house, but more of a sitting area [sic] designed in the style of a tea house,” said Skyler Westergard, a professor of applied plant science, who is in charge of the project. “The Japanese garden is named ‘Stori No Roji’ which is translated into English as ‘Path of Enlightenment’.”
The tea house, which is slated to be completed this semester, is a project of Westergard’s Landscape Construction Materials class. There are four students working on it.
“So far, we have constructed the deck, framed the walls, and finished some of the staining,” said Eliza Nevarez, a senior studying horticulture. “We are starting to work on the roof now. Some of our future projects for the tea house include installing a bench, lighting, a hip roof, and LUMAsite panels.”
This area will be a good place to bring dates, or to just sit and clear one’s head.