Weekend Fun: Writer’s Block I by Cheng + Snyder

Writer's Block I by Cheng + Snyder

This small structure in Maine was designed by architects Cheng + Snyder for use as a combination writing studio and boat shed. From a distance it appears to be an ordinary shingled shed, but up close it offers a number of surprises. Something about the building seems a bit off but it is difficult to pin down what it is at first glance. The lack of overhangs together with uniform wall and roof shingles gives it a somewhat plastic appearance, as if it had been molded in one piece rather than assembled. Unlike the traditional shed, this one has windows wrapping around the corners, plus one that wraps up onto the roof. All the windows have been recessed into the walls, giving them an unusual appearance. The absence of any obvious entrance door only adds to the enigmatic nature of this small outbuilding.

Writer's Block I by Cheng + Snyder

To enter the cabin, you first have to find the concealed door, custom built into a corner of the cabin. The interior of the 190 ft2 (17.7 m2) studio looks very shed-like. With the framing exposed, the only interior finish is the inside face of the plywood sheathing. A desk is built-in under the corner windows, giving the writer a very nice view of the adjacent river. The desk wraps around the corner to become a bed. The interior space has been maximized by doubling up functions. The built-in bed conceals storage for a canoe (accessed by another hidden door) and on the other side of the room, the extra-deep framing has been adapted into bookshelves.

Have a great weekend!

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Photographs courtesy of Cheng + Snyder.

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