Torafu Architects designed for the Japanese brand Hombo a simple Buddhist altar consisting of a plate on which ritual implements can be easily arranged.
By varying the height of the seven traditional altar implements; – spirit tablet, food offering bowl, tea and hot water offering bowl, flower stand, incense burner, candlestick stand and singing bowl – it is possible to arrange the respective implements in tiers even when presented on a flat plate.
With this new type of altar, the ritual implements can be rearranged as easily as changing the layout of the furniture in one’s home.
Moreover, the materials used, such as walnut and beech, bring into the everyday scenery a new warmth hitherto absent from traditional family altars as it is made from solid wood not unlike that found in regular furniture.
Since this altar can be placed inconspicuously in a space where many congregate and where most of the time during the day is spent, such as in the living room, the members of the household can now share this time with their beloved ancestors always close by, as used in the Buddhist tradition.