Valerie Schweitzer Architects recently won a 2017 American Architecture Prize for Butterfly Studio, a 350 square-foot art studio and private office in Westport, Connecticut. 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 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.
Photography: Tom Leighton