Yankee Barn Homes
Project name: Japanese Tea House
Project location: Grantham, N.H
Square footage (finished): 225 s.f.
Total project cost (not land): $80,000
Goal: Build a multiuse, three-season outdoor structure in harmony with the stunning, forested surroundings and a nearby brook. The owners wanted to enjoy the structure equally in solitude or with company, and would be the central location for his hobby — tai chi, and her hobby — gardening. The building also should suit both their tastes; minimalism for him, warmth with elegance for her.
Challenges included creating an outdoor structure that was beautiful and unique, but would harmonize — not compete — with the surrounding forest and nearby stream. The space also should be simultaneously rustic and refined, while creating a sense of privacy from the primary residence.
A Japanese-style tea house was designed to evoke a peaceful feeling, aided by the tiny stream over which it was built. Small size and natural colors marry it with the forest. Smooth-planed timber-frame construction, mahogany floors and a cedar roof provide elegance and harmonize with the surrounding forest. The structure has no walls — only Japanese-style doors and windows — so the focus is always on nature. It is surrounded on two sides by Japanese gardens and outfitted with lighting for evening entertaining.