Exclusive bonsai sanctuary inspired by Philip Johnson
Flavin Architects adds “exclusive bonsai sanctuary” to glass house inspired by Philip Johnson
The clients wished for a greenhouse where they could practice the art of training bonsai trees that incorporates and respects the surrounding natural landscape. Colin Flavin of Flavin Architects collaborated with Peter White of ZEN Associates on the design of this modern glass house set in the garden. White developed the concept drawings for a modern greenhouse similar to Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Project Architect Howard Raley refined the building to its essence of structural steel, aluminum window system and glass.
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A large chimney clad in glazed concrete block divides the building into two distinct volumes and evokes a midcentury vibe. The rear of the building is the working part of the building, with a gravel floor and teak and galvanized metal work benches. A granite counter with stainless steel sink cantilevers from the masonry core.
A column of black painted bricks integrates the steel chimney and serves to separate the two spaces of the module, the work space and the rest area. This constructive element also has Mid-Century reminiscences. The structure of the building is made of steel. The carpentry that frame the large glass windows are made of aluminum.
The front part functions as a tea room and meditation space thanks to the placid view of the surrounding Japanese-style garden, designed on a dry stream bed. The floor is made of polished microcement, while the ceiling was mounted with cedar wood. The roof in this part is covered with grass.
At the end of the day, light rays are allowed to pass through to function as a greenhouse. Here the floor is gravel, which purifies the environment, and the benches were made of galvanized aluminum and teak wood. A granite countertop with a stainless steel sink stands out for its cantilevered design.