Halley Studio
North Hillsdale, New York, 1992


Designed for an artist and his family, the Halley Studio joins a modest nineteenth-century red-shingled farmhouse in the Berkshire Mountains of eastern New York State. This modest 1,100 square foot structure nestles into the slope of a hill and lies three hundred feet from the original farmhouse.

The scheme configures three distinct volumes around a central staircase. Each contains a single element of the program: a dramatically proportioned painting studio; a screened porch; and a small sleeping suite. Each volume has its own architectural character to reinforce the three-part composition. The studio wing employs the 'carpenter's' detailing of a shingled house; the porch is detailed like an open framework of columns; and the modest sleeping quarters are detailed somewhat like a utility shed. In this way, this small building is endowed with greater physical presence than it might ordinarily have had.

Drawing on regional architecture for both form and language, the project is imparted with a sense of the ordinary that has been subtly subverted through a painstaking attention to detail. The result is a humble but assured building that is at one with its site.