Shofuso House… Revisited

by ziggy on November 28, 2017 -- 0 comments -- Follow

shofuso house - gable

Shofuso House in Fairmont Park

After my work trip to eastern PA in August, April and I stopped in Philadelphia on the way home. We took the opportunity to re-visit Shofuso House, the traditionally constructed Japanese house in Fairmount Park. It’s been three years since we first went to see the building, and it was almost like seeing it with fresh eyes on this most recent trip. Needless to say, I had a blast.

Revisiting Shofuso House

Shofuso House is a traditionally constructed Japanese dwelling, featuring elements of various styles of construction under one roof. It was first built in the 1950s in Japan, and later shipped to the US (in pieces, of course), where it was re-assembled. This is a legit structure — it’s the only building outside of Japan with a hinoki bark roof.

Taking a peek at the scribed posts sitting on stone plinths

The walls are all clay or lime plaster, and the quality of the timber is superb. It’s dreamy.

Beautiful clear timber everywhere…

During this second trip, I was much more focused on the finer details of the construction. I’m really interested in the various construction elements of Japanese architecture — the stone plinth foundations, the sliding doors, all the intricate carpentry throughout.

One of my favorite parts — the engawa, or outdoor hallway

I could easily use another full day or two to take photos and notes… not to mention, enjoy the gardens more, too.

Beautifully applied lime plaster

Even the repairs look good!

Another one of my favorite features — a small section of deck finished with a chouna, or Japanese adze

Pooper, anyone?

A “truth window” of sorts — exposed woven reed in the tea ceremony room with a clay finish

Wood bathtub. Nuff said.

There’s a lot to take in, needless to say. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area.

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