Wabi Tea House, CAMBRIDGEHIRE, 2008

This little guest room is used by its owner, a ceramicist, for hosting Japanese tea ceremonies. Entirely built of reclaimed materials by the client at a cost of £7,000, the addition is a deliberate evocation of the Fen shack. Inside the room is beautifully made, with views out to the walnut tree, and a deck to sit out in the sun. It celebrates ordinary materials, and makes an occasion out of the simpler things in life.

John is a ‘bodger’, making chairs from green timber grown and harvested in the wood plated around the house; he made the window frames for Tea House, and it is furnished with his work.  Sonia’s exquisite raku pottery combines fine precision thrown in porcelain with the exciting alchemy of a raku glaze. The rough use of corrugated steel sheeting or the imperfect lines of a clay plaster, are countered by the essential order of this little room. The history of The Fens are evoked in this building.  John and Sonia have called the house Slodgers, named after the early inhabitants of the waterlogged fens, who earned a meagre living from the land.




photography: David Butler



  • Architect’s Journal Small Projects Award, 2008