The house was to be situated next to an 80-acre horse farm outside Columbus, Ohio, so creating a style that recalled midwestern farmland tradition was an obvious choice, says architect Christopher Meyers.
For corner details in the kitchen and the bedroom, Meyers took inspiration from the slats of a corn crib. Strips of birch plywood cut into 5 ¾- and 6-inch lengths were mounted on a wood-framed wall with drywall. The drywall was covered with felt paper so that the reveal would read black, making a crisp shadow. A staggered, stacking pattern was used for the plywood, with the end grain position reversed on every other block. Then, a 3/4-inch-wide strip of 1/8-inch-thick birch veneer was ironed onto the butt end of each joint to hide the layers of plywood. The result is the appearance of a birch plank but the structural stability of stacked plywood. The clients, who have five children, report that the crafted corners remain unscathed.
Meyers has long appreciated traditional woodworking and the precision that goes along with it; he admires Japanese workmanship in particular. He knows that executing details like the staggered corner can’t happen without ingenious craftspeople: He’s quick to mention that it was the builder who gave him the idea to use black felt roofing paper (quicker and less laborious than painting the wall black) and iron-on birch veneer. “I might have a great inspiration,” Meyers says, “but the carpenters bring experience and expertise that I don’t have.”
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Columbus, OH.