Studio for a Writer

From Robert Hutchison Architecture

The Owner requested a small potting/writing studio, an outdoor deck, and a fence to separate the driveway from the garden. The project is sited between an existing residence and a concave-shaped hillside to the northeast. Construction drawings were limited to a floor plan and two building elevations. Details were sketched onsite with the builder using a carpenter pencil on plywood.

The careful placement of two architectural elements into the site creates three independent spaces. A spiraling wall placed south of the sloping hillside creates an outdoor working yard, while screening car parking from the garden. A folded plate roof placed above the outdoor deck creates an outdoor room for relaxation and cigar smoking. The overlap of wall plus roof defines a room for use as a potting shed and future writing studio.

The spiraling wall is constructed of conventional 2x wood stud framing clad with 1x6 cedar drop siding stained black. At select locations thin strips of siding have been removed to create a screened effect for the outdoor working yard. On the work yard side of the wall, stud bays are left un-sided to house garden tools. The folded plate roof is constructed of conventional 2x wood rafters clad with metal corrugated framing. The clerestory between wall and roof is treated with a polycarbonate glazing panel.

A pivoting steel gate placed between the end of the wall and the corner of the existing residence provides security and access between the driveway and garden. A favorite photograph of the Owner’s by 20th century Hungarian photographer Andre Kertesz (“The Circus, Budapest”) inspired the idea to install peep holes at various levels of the gate. The peep holes are placed to form the constellation Draco.

Design Team: Robert Hutchison & Tom Maul, Hutchison & Maul Architecture
Principal-in-Charge: Robert Hutchison