Bringing Architecture to Great New Heights

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Hut on Stilts,” the comme il faut name for Nozomi Nakabayashi’s small retreat for a writer, gives a succinct impression of the logic of the project as a whole. It is a simple piece of architecture, forgoing all flair for an elegant sense of tenacity. The client needed a place that would inspire new literary ideas, and Nakabayashi responded with an uncluttered sanctuary for meditation. When the original plan to hand the hut was found to be too costly, Nakabayashi cleverly used stilts to instead give the desired aloof quality to the design. The placement of the hut on top of stilts also recalls the childhood tree houses that spurred for so many people endless adventures within their own imagination, and is a fitting return to this creative fountainhead. Its interior space is divided into two levels to house the writer’s bare necessities; an area with a wood burning stove and a bed that can be hidden under the floor during the day. It is a cozy alcove that renders a familiar adolescent place, while also nurturing the maturation of those lost days into an adult passion for writing. The design of the exterior allows also for a large porch on which one can take in the beauty of the surrounding foliage, allowing for multiple pathways towards creative invention. Its structure and situation are as minimal as its design logic, utilizing prefabricated parts and cladding built on site so that a small team was able to construct the entire thing with little trouble. Much of the building’s materials are either locally sourced (such as the wall cladding) or reclaimed (such as the telegraph poles used in the base structure) to minimize the environmental impact of the construction. The finished product is a testament to how listening to the needs of a client and using that to fuel the tectonic narrative can help bring architecture to great new heights.

Nathaniel Barlam

Nathaniel

Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

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