The design for this residence is based in part on E.S. Prior’s “Butterfly Plan” project of 1897 at Exmouth, England. The site is a rugged, hilly, twenty-acre parcel of land that falls off to a river. The project was designed for the separation of public, social living spaces from private ones within an area of approximately 2,500 square feet.
In the spirit of Prior’s precedent, two rectangular forms have been disposed perpendicular to each other at their mutual corners, thereby creating a “sacred center.” This point, common to both, holds the key to the building. On the ground floor it is the entrance hall, where the formal and functional components of the project are unveiled; above, it is inhabited by the owner, a novelist, and the space is utilized as a library/study. A curving, cut-stone facade acts as a kind of precinct through which one must pass in order to gain access to this “key.” The building is designed such that there is reciprocity between its two realms, public and private, while each remains distinct.