The owner is a philosophy professor and a well-known nature writer. She commissioned the studio as a retreat for herself and for visiting writer friends. Her first request was for a roof that would let her hear rain falling. The writing studio site is a small piece of land along the Marys River about 20 minutes from the owner’s home in town. The studio sits just uphill from riparian wetlands that are part of a project to restore hydrological and ecological function to the whole Marys River watershed. Thewriting studio is designed to reveal the ecological complexity of the site to visitors and in this way it is successful: Small tunnels under the studio bring rare reptiles and amphibians into view through the floor-level window. The water collection basin that doubles as the front step draws in birds and deer. At midday, the silhouettes of these animals project from the water onto the interior ceiling. Windows on the west and north sides frame different bird habitats—the tops of fence row trees and the patch of sky at a hilltop updraft. The roof diaphragm amplifies rain sounds and the collection basin is a measure of past rainfall.
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