Solitude is a necessity for writers to put thoughts into words. However, in the hustle and bustle of this world, peace is difficult to come by-especially in urban areas.
Oslo-based Rintala Eggertsson Architects identified this niche and created an isolated working space for writers. ‘In Praise of Shadows’ is a discreet writer’s studio suspended in the air located in the Maison de l’Écriture, a literature institute in Montricher, Switzerland. The structure consists mainly of timber and emulates the Swiss coat of arms in terms of its geometric orientation.
Much consideration took place in the selection of design. This included inviting 17 architectural firms to participate in the international design competition after which only six designs qualified. Eventually the one presented by Rintala Eggertsson Architects became the building for the writer’s residency program. Their minimalistic design consists of a steel frame packed with multiple layers of insulation ensuring energy efficiency and a timber interior resulting in airy and lightweight cabins. The frame supports the roof, which consists of large curvaceous cavities giving it a modern twist.
“Shaping a space for a writer is a demanding task, as it has to stimulate the creative process on one hand and represent a firm framework for the physical needs on the other,” Rintala Eggertsson Architects said.
The building entails various cabins, each measuring 86 square feet to 183 square feet. Split into four hierarchal levels, the cabin contains the “everyday” items at the bottom level i.e. the water and heating equipment. One level up and you’ll find the kitchen and toilet near the entrance. The living room is located above that level and the top most level is the writer’s room consisting of a large window that allows natural light to enter proving a relaxing thinking space.
All Images: © Valentin Jeck