The 2017 American Architecture Prize winning project in the “small architecture” category resembles a butterfly

A butterfly closing its wings? Shards protruding from the earth? Or maybe another natural element?

Whatever it evokes, this is an original architecture, the art studio and home office recently built in the garden of a villa in Westport, Connecticut. So original that it was awarded at the 2017 American Architecture Prize, in the “small architecture” category.

The project, designed by the New York firm Valerie Schweitzer Architects, is a 30-square-meter Lilliputian building. Glass, wood and steel are the materials it is made from. Particular angles panels clad in stucco and recycled teak wood give it a modern yet futuristic flavor. Wide skylights in steel and heat-insulating glass make the space warm and bright, while the floor heating system with radiant piping optimizes its energy efficiency.

The glass wall, contained in their dimensions, make the space intimate and private, as if it was a small, hidden refuge.