Where wood burning fireplaces have begun to feel like a novelty in the home, backyard firepits continue to be installed and enjoyed at a vehement pace. Ricky Lipman commissioned environmental designer JD Harrison to design and construct a woodshed that would fit seamlessly into the landscape of his Paris Mountain home.
Tucked in a clearing of indigenous trees, Harrison created a structure that is functional, aesthetically pleasing with the mature landscape and eco-friendly to boot. Lipman wanted a simple, yet visually attractive shed that could quickly dry wood, stave off moisture and repel insects.
Harrison is an experienced hiker and has tackled a good bit of the Appalachian Trail. He designed the woodshed to mimic a classic lean-to, cherished for shade and shelter during a long trek. “The pitched roof blocks wind and keep contents relatively dry,” says Harrison. “It’s a marriage of design, utility and function.”
The post and beam construction is made entirely of cedar. Slatted facades allow for airflow and maximum surface contact with sunlight. The Japanese finishing technique Shou Sugi Ban was employed by Harrison. It naturally preserves wood with a slow steady charring eliminating the need to seal or apply varnish. The result is a black carbon finish which strengthens and protects the wood for long past its natural lifespan; it is prized in design work for its rich color and subtle luster.
A cedar dartboard was built for an aft-facing wall of the shed. “It was a fun extra,” says Harrison, “and something I knew would speak to the homeowner’s love of sports and the outdoors.”