The ManHut project began as a part of a much larger backyard landscaping project which included a new pool, patios, built-in BBQ and fireplace. The client and the landscape architect, Kikuchi and Associates, came up with the idea to put a small accessory structure in a tight rear corner just adjacent to the new pool. It was to function, not as a pool house, but more of an away space for contemplation and idea development. They came to us to develop concept ideas and to make it into something real. Thus it became the ManHut. A mixture of quirkiness, old but having been found and fixed, and still useful and practical. The acute angles were a challenge as were the relationships to various setbacks and the proximity to the pool which was to built first.
Here are the first sketches. The design did not change much from these drawings as we continued to develop the project in more detail.
By the time we were ready to build, the construction of the rest of the landscaping project was well underway. That made a difficult and constrained project harder due to the minimal access and the need to protect the new work. The landscape contractor, Douglas Landscape Construction, decided to take on the ManHut, a huge advantage since the same stone masons could continue and match their work already in place. And more important, the guy in charge, Chris Peeters, made it a very personal project with his attention to all the details and execution.
The quest for old wood
One of the concepts of the design was to have as much of the exposed wood be old. We could not use old wood in any structural capacity, so the hut was framed conventionally. The old reclaimed wood was then carefully attached with hidden connections and other methods. Chris found much of the old beams and sidings at a reclaim yard in Santa Rosa, carefully picking the best beams.