Tea House South Side

Perhaps a quiet getaway could exist in your own backyard. Such is the case for Tullio Inglese of TIA Architects, who-with the help of three others-assembled a tea house in a secluded area of his yard in a single afternoon.

Some serious forethought took place beforehand, of course, regarding the relationship between site and design. Inglese comments that every time he chose a new site, the form of the structure would change.

On the very top of the ledges, I thought a flat roof was appropriate—a small structure that hugged the ground without getting blown away by the ‘energy’ of the place. Another site generated a shallow pitched roof – and yet another, a less formal shed roof. Finally, I settled on a site that seemed to call for a compact rectangular plan with a relatively steep gable roof. Tullio Inglese

The design of the tea house is rather traditional and similar to the timber frame structures so prevalent in Western Massachusetts. It combines the vernacular with the traditional Japanese aesthetic common in Inglese’s work. Features such as a tokonoma, Japanese door, and large round window add uniqueness to the structure, while the overall design celebrates the beauty of generic form.

No nails or bolts were used in the construction – the entire structure was built using traditional Japanese joinery. The timber framers were Josh Jackson and his associate Ben Yeomans. Josh Dean, who has worked with Inglese in the past, also assisted in the construction. Judith, Tullio’s wife, built the sliding doors.