Writer‘s Studio

Writer‘s Studio

Eric J. Smith
Greenwich, CT, USA | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Durston Saylor

Writer‘s Studio

Eric J. Smith as Architects

This small, unusual structure is essentially an elaborate housing for a 1,700 volume collection of poetry. Secondarily it is a studio in which its owner can write and read poetry as well as escape from virtually every aspect of modern life, meditate among tall oaks, observe wildlife, watch the wind and weather, and reflect on philosophical and artistic ideas.


The building is intended to be used by one person, a retired Wall Street executive who is also a poet and former president of the Poetry Foundation. It is a set away from the main house on a large, residential property in Connecticut, at the top of a hill, facing a ravine. The design of the 650-square foot studio provides absolute comfort within a restrained space where the owner can spend long days.


Symmetrical, custom-designed bookshelves perfectly fit the poetry books. A geothermal heating and cooling system maintains a 68- degree temperature. Running water and electricity allow for a tiny kitchen area with a small fridge, coffee pot and sink. A single bed is hidden in a large drawer under stairs that lead to the roof, where the owner can sit among the treetops.


There is an incinerating toilet and sink in a private niche along the east wall. But it’s the glass-enclosed writer’s space, cantilevered over the hill, that makes this studio a small feat of engineering and soaring aspiration; it’s virtually impossible not to feel a deep sense of peace sitting at the simple desk along a 16-foot window wall.

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