Home & Design

A Moroccan lantern perfectly suits its ornate surroundings.

Wilder’s design team furnished the joglo with comfortable rattan seating from RH.

The new hipped-roof structure houses a traditional Javanese joglo, distinguished by its elaborate carvings. Teak decking includes a bridge across a bordering “river” of black stones.

Gentle Spirit

Anthony Wilder Design/Build marries East and West in a serene outdoor living space

After enlisting Anthony Wilder Design/Build for seven previous makeovers, Arlington clients turned to the firm for help creating an outdoor living space. This time, the project was a little unusual: A centuries-old Indonesian joglo had caught the owners’ eye while it was on display at a local furniture showroom and they wanted the Wilder team to integrate it with a larger outdoor structure where they could gather and entertain.

The joglo—a traditional Javanese abode comprising a roof and four pillars—presented the first challenge. Made of durable Indonesian hardwood, the structure was elaborately carved and detailed. It fell to carpenter Mark Masser to disassemble its more than 3,500 pieces at the store where it was purchased and reassemble them on-site. “While disassembling it, we discovered Javanese carvings, which may as well have been hieroglyphics to us,” Masser recalls. “We numbered each piece to identify which parts belonged together. Once we began reassembly, we noticed it had not been pieced together correctly. We had to match the carvings to one another to reconstruct it.”

With the joglo in place, the Wilder team created a pavilion of vertical-grain cedar around it, stained to match its ornate centerpiece. The pavilion is supported by slender steel columns, with paneled cedar doors along the back that slide closed for privacy and a hipped, cedar-shingled roof. Black stones that emulate flowing water border the teak decking. The owners, who collect artifacts, contributed Egyptian statuary and a Moroccan hanging lantern from Viva Terra. Says Anthony Wilder, “Our design embraces the joglo and its cultural references. There, in our clients’ backyard, it seems to belong. When you’re in it, you can feel the gentle spirit of the Indonesian people.”

Design & Contracting: Sean Mullin, AIA; Anthony Wilder, founding partner; Mark Masser, carpenter, Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Cabin John, Maryland. 

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