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Press Kit
| no: 3136-02
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Press kit - Press release - Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects
A v2com exclusive

Butterfly Studio

Westport, United States

Valerie Schweitzer Architects

A private workshop for art and reflection 


New York, United States, 2018-01-03 -

Winner of the 2017 American Architecture Prize.

Inspired in part by the closing of a butterfly’s wings and other organic forms, this 350 square-foot art studio and private office for a family home in Westport, Connecticut, provides a serene refuge.


Like shards protruding from the earth, the studio’s angled panels clad in stucco and recycled teak, impart a primitive and futuristic quality at the same time. The structure exploits the potential of glass, wood and steel.


The expansive skylight of steel and thermally-insulated glass eliminates the need for day-lighting, even for an artist. It also creates an airiness despite the confined floor plate. Efficiency is furthered by the sealed poured concrete floor that contains radiant heat piping; one may roll a work desk on wheels throughout the space.

Due to the skylight and narrow windows, there is a strong sense of privacy and being hidden from the rest of the world. The view of changing skies and light create an optimal space for intermittent reflection during artistic production. 

Cross-ventilation is achieved by carefully placed windows that capture breezes off the proximate Long Island Sound. A half-bath is included.


Technical Info

Built in 2007 by All Phase Construction, Bridgeport, Ct, USA.


Materials: Douglas fir wood framing, steel columns, and beams, low-e-double pane glass, stucco-cladding with trowel-finish, teak wood cladding, new and recycled.


Poured concrete floor with electric (snow-melting) radiant heat; custom windows with aluminum frames both fixed and operable; 

custom skylight with aluminum frame.


HVAC: Mitsubishi split-air heating and cooling


Landscape by architect: Colorado blue spruce and azaleas


Zoning limitations for ancillary structure: 350 square feet floor plan; 17 feet max. height to the midpoint of the highest ridge


About Valerie F. Schweitzer Architects
Valerie F. Schweitzer Architects aims to construct inventive spaces that are not just visually arresting, but communicate a central purpose. That purpose might be the light-drenched transporting dimensions of an artist’s studio, or the playfulness of a Los Angeles apartment building.


With her small team, Schweitzer creates bold structures that attempt the shoring up of the human spirit. Principal V.F. Schweitzer’s residential buildings are also efforts to improve and integrate the fabric of the surrounding streets. With her additional training as a painter, Schweitzer integrates textiles, color and lighting into a synchronized assemblage, widening the application of architecture. Schweitzer studied architecture at Princeton University for her Bachelors of Art degree, and UCLA for her Masters of Architecture, receiving honors at both institutions. Her firm is based in New York City.

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Media contact
Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - Winner of the American Architecture Prize in small architecture, 2017 - Photo credit: Tom Leighton
Winner of the American Architecture Prize in small architecture, 2017
Photo credit: Tom Leighton
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - A lantern-like glow at night - Photo credit: Paul Bartholomeuw
A lantern-like glow at night
Photo credit: Paul Bartholomeuw
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - Inspired in part by the closing of a butterfly's wing - Photo credit: Tom Leighton
Inspired in part by the closing of a butterfly's wing
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - Inspired by nature and early fort-like European castles - Photo credit: Tom Leighton
Inspired by nature and early fort-like European castles
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - Plentiful and even day lighting ideal for office and studio - Photo credit: Tom Leighton
Plentiful and even day lighting ideal for office and studio
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - A fortress-like backyard studio - Photo credit: Tom Leighton
A fortress-like backyard studio
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - The studio's angles complement those of the main house - Photo credit: Tom Leighton
The studio's angles complement those of the main house
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - Ensconced in nature the small studio is set far from the street - Photo credit: Tom Leighton
Ensconced in nature the small studio is set far from the street
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Press kit | 3136-02 - Press release | Butterfly Studio - Valerie Schweitzer Architects - Residential Architecture - Elevation shows the linkage of stucco and wood panels - Photo credit: Drawing by Valerie Schweitzer AIA
Elevation shows the linkage of stucco and wood panels
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