Imagine a place surrounded by nature with pure air and sounds of birds…. every morning blessed with a sun ray. A vision of a hut everyday. There’s something about the proportions that make it appear heavenly. The hut is the butterfly-roof-adorned tea and meditation structure perched above a pond on their 14 acres in Champaign, Illinois.
The owner of the hut is Mary Kalanzis who wanted a quiet space to observe the surrounding nature and have a cup of tea. The hut, which was completed in 2010, measures in at just 97 square feet and sits along the north edge of a pond.
The location allowed the development of several effluvial sensations. Throughout the day water reflections are projected onto the soffit. Here the low, horizontal window in the main space “frames a meditative fragment of water.
Inside, a large window opposite the main door frames a view of mature trees. The main interior spaces is the raised platform supporting three tatami mats. The floor of glossy ebonized birch has the sensation of a deep, still pond. The grass tatami mats become an island within an island.
A simple walkway leads to the unassuming entrance. It’s obscured, detailed like the cedar walls. The roof has a V-shape which dominates the structure’s silhouette, channels rainwater to a central spout then into the pond—for most of the year.
The deep-V, butterfly roof characterizes the hut on the outside and defines the interior as well. It was a consequence of several experiments to maximize the reflective light effects, channel the rainwater into the pond, and capture a view of the sky. During the winter the hut instead of floating over the pond, the hut sits lightly above the snow. It’s protected and serene but alive with subtle energy. Photos by: Phillip Kalantzis-Cope