Part office, part family hideaway, this shou sugi ban cabin provides a therapeutic connection to the landscape.

Douglas fir boards follow the angle of the roof, exaggerating the cabin’s form.

Ryan Post confided to his brother-in-law that he wanted to create a building for his psychotherapy practice on the 75-acre plot in Little Compton, Rhode Island, where he lives with his wife and three children, but had no idea how to begin. His brother-in-law, who is an architect, offered this insight: Find someone as excited as you are about the project.

In the front of the cabin, the roof extends almost twice as deep on the east than the west.

At the front of the cabin, the roof overhang is twice as deep on the eastern side than on the western facade.

Nat Rea

Enter Jason Wood, principal and founder of local design/build firm, from [in] form. “He asked what my therapy process was like at our first meeting,” Ryan says. “I knew right away there would be reciprocity.”

Ryan, who had spent most of his career working with clients outdoors, had been confined to urban offices in recent years. As such, he was eager to return to his roots. His nature-based approach, which requires connecting with the land, drove the design. “Some people need to walk before they can open up; some grab sticks and beat trees; others want to burn childhood mementos in a fire,” Ryan says. “The land itself becomes the therapist.”

Fires can be built on either the north or south side of the rock, depending on prevailing winds.

Fires can be built on either the northern or southern side of the rock, depending on prevailing winds.

Nat Rea

Walking the property numerous times helped Ryan and Wood settle on a site—a field near a puddingstone that Ryan felt drawn to. It’s far enough away from the family’s house to ensure privacy, but is by no means remote. Ryan preferred to situate the cabin on the fringe of the wilds, which he considers sacred, rather than to disrupt it.  

The architect sited the cabin not far from a puddingstone on the property.

The architect sited the cabin not far from a puddingstone on the property. “People sit on it,” says Ryan. “It’s very inviting.”

Nat Rea

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Therapist’s Cabin in Rhode Island Invites Nature Into His Practice
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