Essex, United States 2004



PROGRAM: private residence
    SIZE: 1,200 sq ft
STATUS: complete

Overlooking the expanse of Lake Champlain in the 19th Century town of Essex, this 1,200 sq. ft. house for a writer is sited on a former nail factory foundation. The owner has a collection of square head 19th Century nails gathered over the years on this site. Windows correspond to the 24 chapters of Homer's Odyssey and are organized to project "Fingers of Light" into the interior volume. The main northeast wall has 14 windows; the southeast and southwest walls contain 5 windows, while the northwest wall is blank. The largely open interior ascends counter-clockwise through a series of spaces pierced by the light of the windows. A "prow" thrust toward Lake Champlain completes this upward spiral of space.


  • architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
    • Steven Holl ( design architect )
    • Stephen O'Dell ( project architect )
  • structural engineer
    • Bernard Webb
  • fabricator
    • Mitch Rabinew