There is nothing quite as serene as the sight and sound of water. It evokes a sense of peace that is hard to find anywhere else. Thus, when architect Jeffery Poss was asked to design a meditation hut and tea room on a wooded Illinois property, he was immediately drawn to the property’s lake.
The hut was dubbed The Victor. Entrance to the small meditation hut is made by climbing a small ramp and entering a door that is finished in the same cedar strips as the rest of the exterior. The door is not entirely obvious at first, lending a kind of serene mystery to the tiny building.
Inside, the glossy black floor looks like a placid pool of water. The three tatami mats on the raised black floor are islands in this small interior pond.
A miniature tea cabinet just off of the main meditation space features a small window that looks out over the water. Sunlight on the lake is reflected on the hut’s overhanging soffits in different patterns throughout the day.
The pitched roof channels rainwater down and into the lake, lending an even deeper sense of serenity when it rains thanks to the sound of a miniature waterfall.
The hut’s interior is nearly empty, containing only the tatami mats and tea cupboard. This enables the hut’s visitors to block out the distracting objects of the typical home.
A floor-level horizontal window in the meditation space gives a close view of the lake and allows the water to fill the space with warm, relaxing, meditative light.
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“The owners of a forested property wanted a quiet space to observe the surrounding nature. A naturalized understory leads to a visually kinetic approach ramp that contrasts to the subtle interior. Entry to the hut is through an obscured door detailed like the cedar walls. Inside an oversized window opposite the entrance immediately pulls the view back outside to a composed view of mature trees. Adjacent to this is a miniature tea cabinet. A raised platform in the main space supports three tatami mats.”
“The location along the north pond edge allowed the development of several effluvial sensations. Throughout the day water reflections are projected onto the soffit. The roof channels rainwater to a central spout over the pond. A horizontal window in the tatami room frames a meditative fragment of water. The floor of glossy ebonized birch has the sensation of a deep still pool – the grass tatami mats become an island within an island. The result is an interior volume that is protective and serene but alive with subtle energy.”