Inspiration for the home office came from the “Russian word пустынь or poustinia (which literally means desert): a small simply furnished and preferably remote cabin to which a monk would retreat to fast and pray in solitude and silence.” The writer’s studio is located on a steep hillside behind the owner’s home and accessed via a winding bluestone stairway surrounded by agave, yucca, cactus and other drought-resistant plants. Partially set into the hillside and cantilevered out over the hill, the building is a careful balancing act between grounded practicality and inspiration taking flight.
The exterior is covered in IPE wood, which will naturally gray over time and requires little maintenance. Inside, handcrafted furnishings are built into the studio to make the most of the small space, fitting in an amply-sized desk, shelving, a bed and a bathroom. An outdoor shower takes advantage of the SoCal climate and leaves space inside free for other uses. A large corner window is set back from the exterior to create a large overhang, perfect for letting in daylight without causing a glare on the desk. The window provides spectacular views out over the hills and, on a clear day, out to the Pacific Ocean, which is perfect for any writer who needs a bit of inspiration.
Images ©Bertram Architects