In search of the origins of architecture, Laugier presented a primitive hut using the three basic elements of architecture – the post, the lintel and the gable. Semper’s pursuit of the origin resulted in a primitive dwelling that was comprised of four basic qualities – earthwork, hearth, framework/roof, and enclosing membrane. While Laugier’s list of basic elements stemmed from the obsession with disciplinary origins, Semper‘s meditations were a vehicle to essentialize that which was previously seen as superfluous, namely the building enclosure. Semper wanted to put ornament to work. Butterfly House is an exercise in re-working three ubiquitous elements – window, door and roof – until they exceed their functional value and lead the way to new architectural effects. Butterfly House builds upon Laugier’s primitive hut as a model of fitness, updated to reflect a post-bubble economic climate rather than mythical origins, as well as Semper’s interest in the productive capacity of the apparently unnecessary. Our conceptual hut uses a limited quantity of elements to solicit rich qualities and characteristics and uncovers a zone of enchantment between the essential and the excessive.