Six stone stumps, constructed and arranged to form a “fairy-ring,” demarcate the clearing for a humble house and art studio within the Redwood region of California's Santa Cruz Mountains. The house rests precariously above the ground on these stone stumps, which collectively claim the art studio below. The studio is half submerged; its clerestory glazing constantly varies in height as it follows the existing topography precisely. Each stump provides a simple service just outside the desirably generic rectangle of the studio: a stair, a doorway, a deck, a closet, a shower, a gutter.
The house above is a domesticated hybrid. Something between Laugier's Primitive Hut and a peripteral temple – including the “naos” house-within-a-house relationship. The gable roof is confused with pediment, resting upon what appears to be common balloon-framing, but which-in-fact has returned to the columnar role –both spatial and structural— of a temple's perimeter; elevating the familiar somehow; but ultimately playing with and questioning our reliance on “origins” within architecture.