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In barely 20 square feet, a private viewing alcove.

A trip to Japan persuaded Chatter and Jack Bishoff to add a tranquil meditation alcove to their home on northern California's Mendocino coast. Although it's fully enclosed, the 3- by 7-1/2-foot glass-walled space is a little like the traditional Japanese engawa--a narrow deck that extends a room outdoors.

The second-story floor joists already stuck out beyond the back wall to support a narrow ledge for washing windows, so it was relatively easy to extend them about a foot more for the cantilevered addition.

Below the addition, supported by a post-and-beam pergola, trailing juniper cascades over drip-irrigated redwood planter boxes to ease the relationship between the addition and the ground level.

For protection from the sun's glare, the alcove's double-glazed, tempered window-walls have a light bronze tint. Thin-profile pleated shades can also be dropped to cut glare and further insulate the glazing.

Three 30- by 80-inch redwood-framed shoji screens with translucent fiberglass panels slide closed to give the alcove's occupant privacy from outside or from other guests sharing the room. Two same-size panels remain stationary at each side of the meditation area.

A 6-inch valance of redwood runs around the top of the walls, masking the sliding tracks and visually tying the alcove to the rest of the room.

Architect: Paul Tay of Mendocino, California.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Mar 1, 1986
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