The Wheelhouse in Winter

One of the delights of the wheelhouse is the metamorphosis that occurs when we get snow. Snow has the ability to transform almost any landscape, but when I built the wheelhouse, I did not appreciate the magnitude of that transformation. The first time I went out to the wheelhouse after a large winter storm, I was surprised and enchanted by the transformation.
        A building with a steep conical roof, set into a hillside, buries itself in snow. The combination of the snow sloughing off the roof while the building has already been built into the ground gives the illusion that there is more snow here than in the surrounding woods. Entering the building has the quality of entering this subterranean chamber that hasn’t been opened in centuries.

Celtic Wheelhouse in winter

        Of course, digging out of the snow has a different quality to it, and I am grateful that this is a retreat and not my main residence, but I do not want to sound like I am complaining. A world where nature does not have the last say would, I think, be a world diminished.
        I appreciate most that, after I had put so much thought into the size, and placement of the building, the proportions, the relationships of window and door to wall, the volume of space to human scale, nature can trump my design and magic can fall out of the sky.

Celtic Wheelhouse in winter


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