the artistic possibilities
of designing with nature

Upcoming events

January 1, 2024 from 10:45 am

We are extending the display of Robert Shannon's retrospective untill the end of May 2024.  We invite interested partys to contact us and schedule a visit while the broad spectrum of our founder's contribututions are still on full display.  We can be reached at   For more information on the show please click this link.


Design and construct the man-made environment to be in harmony with the natural environment.

Solar Work 1968-70

Ski Cabin, Nantucket House, Landgrove House

Designed in 1968, this modest cabin was built on the north slope of a ski area. In winter the only direct sunlight penetrating the house comes through a large 2 over 2 window at the top of the two story living room/dining room/kitchen space, and even without the leaves the deciduous trees partially shades the windows. This was a strong early solar lesson for the architect about the psychological value of direct sunlight in Vermont, and also that north slopes should be reserved for apple orchards, not ski cabins. Two important features of the house in terms of sustainability were the recycled materials used throughout (windows, doors, plumbing and light fixtures, some beams, and a turned column), as well as the using only wood from a local mill with no sheet goods.


This small house on Nantucket had window restrictions, by local historical codes, to such a small percentage of the wall area that adequate day lighting in winter required a space-sharing/light-borrowing set of strategies. Skylights were also banned. The real house resides inside an immitation historical shell, the inner core of glass on a steel and wood structure. Small bays protrude from this core to the outer walls, leaving 3 story light wells at the corners to allow the maximum light penetration even to the basement family room.


The Landgrove House is a social experiment, in two families sharing one house. Each family has a bedroom floor on the view side (the west), with shared facilities on the top floor and down the staircase on the road side (tubs, showers, sauna, and laundry.) Each family area has quarters for 2 parents and 4 bunk beds for the children. The desparity between the desire for the distant western view and the need for sunlight from the south led to the strip windows on the west with large picture windows on the south. The west facade on the model was reduced later to embellish this strategy.