Japanese Inspired New England Home

After traveling to Japan to study the traditions and methods of Japanese timber framing, Nathan Puffer, owner of Groton Timberworks, was given the challenge to design a frame which is heavily asian influenced, but maintains a New England appeal from the exterior. Local Architect, Arnold J. Aho, AIA, worked closely with Nathan on this design challenge. Situated in a quaint New England village, the exterior of the residence reflects many of the details of homes in the surrounding area, such as trim details, color scheme and landscaping approach. All aspects of the exterior are an attempt to ensure that the home is a natural addition to the historic, New England countryside.

After passing the custom round columns that frame the entry, it is quickly noticed that the interior speaks much differently than the exterior. The owners have a large and closely-knit family which spends a lot of time together, such as traditional Sunday dinners and holidays. Reflecting this, the design features a large, open two-story family space, much like those found in medieval halls, in which all the living activities can be shared by everyone: from cooking, to eating, to relaxing together. This open plan, in addition to other design details, also accommodates accessibility requirements, which were important to the owners.

The interior of the home is supported by large, native hardwoods that are used with the natural curve they grew with. It is common in Japan that these unique pieces of wood are slightly shaped, and used the way that nature created them. The great room of this custom home reaches to the peak of the home, where a solid, naturally sweeping piece of cherry intersects a large, sweeping white birch timber below a maze of white pine purlin plates and rafters. This blend of Japanese framing accented with traditional joinery can also be enjoyed clearer by viewing it from the loft above.

There are also many Groton Timberworks’ original pieces of work that greatly compliment the dominant timber features including doors, cabinetry, furniture and custom woodwork. The entry door softly compliments the Japanese interior, while accenting the finer details of the surrounding facade. The many other custom doors built by Groton Timberworks provide excellent entrances while creating an interesting visual appeal to many of the distinctive rooms.

The north side of the home is refined by a large, screened, timber framed porch. The porch was built to allow for screens which are removable for the harsh winter months. The porch defines another imaginative area to be enjoyed within this one-of-a-kind home. Everyone at Groton Timberworks greatly enjoyed the building process of this home, and are fortunate to be associated with such a unique home.