THE TRADITION of the Japanese tea house was the inspiration for this tranquil, intimate addition to an early 20th century brick Tudor-style home in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia. The pitched roof with wood shingles and copper ridge cap complement the main house while remaining distinct and somewhat of a “folly.” The Zen-like addition houses the owner’s collection of smooth river stones collected from around the world displayed on narrow shelves. The room can be opened on three sides with sliding doors reminiscent of Shoji screens while, to the east, a moon-viewing platform hovers over a koi pond with a man-made small stream and series of cascading pools nearby. Soothing sounds of water, subdued light emanating from cut-paper lanterns and subtle variations in the river rock flooring provide the sensual cues that this space is an intimately-scaled respite for two.
Interiors: Vincent Smith-Durham