Residence: Vermont

Pawlet, Vermont 2007-2009

This ultra-efficient, three story tower in the Vermont forest was designed for an artist and his wife as a retreat and studio. The dwelling is entirely off-the-grid and is powered by an active solar array. The simple open floor plan measures 20 feet by 20 feet square, with the studio on the ground floor, living spaces on the second floor, and a bedroom loft above. Large window openings capture the magnificent views of the neighboring mountains and tree canopy, and a 50 foot steel bridge connects the building to an outdoor space on an adjacent rocky knoll.

The property is located in the historic Slate Valley, a region in Southwest Vermont famous for its high quality slate. Thus, the timeless slate roofs of the local vernacular and the proximity of the nearby slate quarries inspired the decision to clad the entire exterior in slate shingles. The fragmented form, cleaved angles and striations in the coursing of the shingles evoke the raw material itself, as it is cut from the veins that run near the site.

Photos: Mark Wilson