Charles Hutchinson's Tea House


Hi Lloyd,

I have been a big fan of your Shelter publications for a long time, and especially Homework, Builders of the Pacific Coast and Tiny Homes books. They have all been a great inspiration.

I am an Yorkshire carpenter who has been living in South Africa for a number of years constructing everything from furniture to renovation and restoration work, period and contemporary designs. This year I spent 8 months building a meditation center based on a Japanese Tea House design in the grounds of a Buddhist center in Johannesburg. I had help with the heavy lifting apart from that it has been self-built. The Tea house has 15 removable sliding doors making the structure open on 3 sides.

The timber I used :

  • Iroko, for the deck and posts.
  • Himalayan Cedar and Cherry for the load bearing structure.
  • Cypress with Bamboo veneer boards for the ceiling.
  • Pencil Cedar for the doors.
  • The center has a beautiful scent with the mixture of timbers.

I tried to keep within the Japanese tradition as much as possible bearing in mind the South African climate which can be very hot but also very wet in summer. After a visit to Japan a few years ago I have been in love with there methods and design. So I feel very privileged to be given a project like this. I have attached a few pictures you may be interested in. I do have more as the building process has progressed.

Charles Hutchinson


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