I have an enduring passion for architecture that blurs the boundary between building and landscape. For me, the best buildings are those that are in harmony with the landscape and enhance, and are enhanced by, their surroundings. Not surprising really, given I spent 6 years studying landscape architecture and garden design. As much as I love landscape design however, there are definitely moments when I wish I had studied architecture instead.

Given my love of both buildings and landscapes, I am dedicating this second post to exquisitely crafted tea houses, meditation huts, follies – whatever you want to call them. All featured buildings are small spaces, designed as places for reflection where one can be free of modern distractions such as the telephone, television and internet.

First up, a tea house by David Jameson Architect. Although I am not entirely convinced of its fit within the confines of a suburban backyard (and it definitely feels at odds with the architecture of the adjacent home), this tea house is a very beautiful building indeed. Personally, a little more “greening” to create the illusion of getting away from it all, not to mention screening that suburban fence, would make it perfect!

David Jameson Architect Tea hut

Next, a meditation hut designed by Jeffery Poss, Architect. Perfectly positioned over a pond and accessed via a ramp, this building is in harmony with the surrounding water, grass and mature trees. One word … stunning.

Meditation hut designed by Jeffery Poss architect

Featured next are three tea houses designed by Swatt Miers Architects. Situated under a grove of ancient Oak trees, each tea house is designed for a particular purpose – one for meditation, another for sleeping and the largest for visioning, ie dreaming and thinking big!

Three tea houses by Swatt Miers Architects

Up next is a black tea house designed by Czech Studio, A1 Architects. With large sliding doors that can close off part of the building, this ticks all the boxes for me, and if I had to pick a favourite, this would probably be it. I love the cultivated garden within the wider pine forest and lake landscape as well as the charred black larch exterior of the tea house.

A1 Architects black tea house

Lastly, from my little corner of the world – a wetland folly on Great Barrier Island designed by Herbst Architects. This basic and unpretentious pavilion sits within the bush on a slope overlooking a wetland. Although rudimentary when compared with the other huts, it is the simple materials and detailing that encapsulate its charm.

Herbst Architects folly


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