Valerie Schweitzer Architects

Butterfly Studio

Westport, CT, USA
4. January 2018
Photo: Tom Leighton (All photographs courtesy of v2com)
Inspired in part by the closing of a butterfly’s wings and other organic forms, this 350 square-foot art studio and private office for a family home in Westport, Connecticut, provides a serene refuge.
Ensconced in nature the small studio is set far from the street (Photo: Tom Leighton)
Like shards protruding from the earth, the studio’s angled panels clad in stucco and recycled teak, impart a primitive and futuristic quality at the same time. The structure exploits the potential of glass, wood and steel.
The studio's angles complement those of the main house (Photo: Tom Leighton)
The expansive skylight of steel and thermally-insulated glass eliminates the need for day-lighting, even for an artist. It also creates an airiness despite the confined floor plate. Efficiency is furthered by the sealed poured concrete floor that contains radiant heat piping; one may roll a work desk on wheels throughout the space.
Inspired in part by the closing of a butterfly's wing (Photo: Paul Bartolomeuw)
Due to the skylight and narrow windows, there is a strong sense of privacy and being hidden from the rest of the world. The view of changing skies and light create an optimal space for intermittent reflection during artistic production. 
A lantern-like glow at night (Photo: Paul Bartholomeuw)
Cross-ventilation is achieved by carefully placed windows that capture breezes off the proximate Long Island Sound. A half-bath is included.
Plentiful and even day lighting ideal for office and studio (Photo: Tom Leighton)
Butterfly Pavilion is a winner of the 2017 American Architecture Prize.
Photo: Tom Leighton
Elevation shows the linkage of stucco and wood panels (Drawing: Valerie Schweitzer, AIA)

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