Swatt Miers Architects completed in 2009 this Tea House design in Silicon Valley, California. Actually they designed three tea houses in a grove of Oak tree where one can find shelter and tranquility while enjoying a cup of tea.
The tea houses are designed as minimalist glass pavilions with a steel frame and are set on raised surfaces. Lying in-between the oak trees, the houses are of different sizes and each of them has its own set role. One is used for meditation and thus is designed for a single individual who wants to contemplate close to nature. The next one is designed as a larger place where you could spend the night thus it is annexed by a bathroom that offers a glass roof.
The last one is the largest and is designed as a place for small groups of people to do creative thinking and given the whole Zen-like monastic purpose of these small retreats there are no telephones, TVs or radios in them.
The large glass walls offer most of the needed illumination during the day and also the ventilation is easily fixed in such small spaces and the vegetation also provides the needed shading. The extra heating is produced by a system of radiant hydronic tubes that are set under the floors while the power output is drawn from the main house’s photovoltaic array.