During the summers of 2015 and 2016, studio members along with friends and family came together build a teahouse on a remote island off the coast of Maine. The 10-foot-square building is sited on the shore of an old ice pond, and its design draws inspiration from both the vernacular architecture of the region as well as the sky spaces of James Turrell.
During the summer, the structure opens to face the pond. With a large open face and a retractable roof, the structure has the ability to open itself up the pleasant island atmosphere. To avoid pest problems, an optional zipper-up screen can be put in place.
During the winter, the roof is closed and a flat packed plywood skin is taken from under the foundation platform and “wrapped” around the walls of the tea house to protect the interior from the extreme Northern climate. A large reclaimed barn window illuminates the tea house from the back side. The beautiful pane was actually found on sight and incoporated into the design on the fly.