The Haffenden House is a writing studio with a garage/breezeway at ground-level; library, bathtub, and writing space on the second-level; and reading room on the third-level. It addresses the suburban context and the repetitive image of “house” — creating a blank space for retreat, reflection, and writing.
The interior's indifference to context provides seclusive space for work yet maximizes the amount of natural light through the structure's section and skin. A bowl-shaped division in section separates the writing room from the reading space above, increasing indirect light for the second level and avoiding any association with the landscape on the third. The result is a double-height volume at either end in plan (on level 2), with a low ceiling at the entry from the house to the studio, subtly dividing the writing area from the bathtub. The exterior — wrapped in a translucent silicon-impregnated fabric — doubly provides for a filtered light-filled volume without visual connection to the context. In the rear yard, the fabric is used on the interior as a curtain, offering the owners flexibility to control their privacy. The library — made up of alternating openings, books, and mirrored bookends — collapses foreground and background into a single surface. The 3rd-level ceiling is gold-leafed, producing a vague reflective doubling of its hemispherical volume.