Butterfly Studio | Valerie Schweitzer Architects
Westport, United States
Photo credit: Tom Leighton / Paul Bartolomeuw
Built in 2007 by All Phase Construction, Bridgeport, Ct, USA.
Materials: Douglas fir wood framing, steel columns, and beams, low-e-double pane glass, stucco-cladding with trowel-finish, teak wood cladding, new and recycled.
Poured concrete floor with electric (snow-melting) radiant heat; custom windows with aluminum frames both fixed and operable;
custom skylight with aluminum frame.
HVAC: Mitsubishi split-air heating and cooling
Landscape by architect: Colorado blue spruce and azaleas
Zoning limitations for ancillary structure: 350 square feet floor plan; 17 feet max. height to the midpoint of the highest ridge
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.
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 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.
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.
Cross-ventilation is achieved by carefully placed windows that capture breezes off the proximate Long Island Sound. A half-bath is included.