Nestled in the serene Champlain Valley of Williston, Vermont, Birdseye presents “Annex,” an innovative studio for celebrated stone sculptor Richard Erdman. Anchored in a picturesque 20-acre horse farm, this unique sculptor’s studio boasts an elegant design that harmoniously blends the artist’s creative language with the agrarian charm of the location.

Marrying function and form, Annex stands as an epitome of ecological sensitivity, minimalist aesthetics, and ergonomic functionality in the realm of studio design.

About Annex

Introducing Annex: A Sculptor’s Sanctuary

Hailing from Birdseye, Annex emerges as a haven for renowned stone sculptor Richard Erdman. Nestled in Vermont’s Champlain Valley, Annex draws its inspiration from Erdman’s sculpture work and the area’s farming landscape, offering an innovative studio for crafting and showcasing artwork.

A Closer Look at the Site

Tucked away in a 20-acre working horse farm (roughly 16 football fields), the studio is situated on the artist’s residential grounds. Present are various farm-related metal structures functioning as stables and storage for hay and equipment. Positioned at the farmyard’s northwestern edge, the studio’s placement enhances the existing structures and paddocks. Standing on a raised platform, the studio overlooks vast pastures, presenting a picturesque view of the distant Adirondack Mountains.

Drawing inspiration from the horse pastures, the landscape design incorporates elements such as wooden guardrails mimicking neighboring paddock fences. A ground cover of compacted stone reaches an infinity edge at concrete walls to the south and west, and to a Corten steel edge on the opposite sides.

Inside the Artist’s Studio

The studio, boasting a cantilevered shed dressed in corrugated Corten steel panels, takes cues from the existing metal structures around the farm. Structural steel elements are visible beneath the roof overhang and inside the studio, embracing the rustic charm.

A hydraulic loading door facilitates easy access to the main studio space. To aid the movement of large-scale sculptures, a jib crane is positioned within the studio. Steel pedestals with casters enable easy movement and graceful display of artworks.

The studio offers open and minimalist interior spaces. Elements such as a steel shelving display, black wall and ceiling finishes, and custom metal pivot doors further enhance the aesthetics. An expansive custom wood cabinet offers storage, while a polished concrete floor underscores the studio’s durability and minimalistic appeal.

An Emphasis on Ecological Sensitivity

Ecological considerations are paramount in this project. The all-electric building eschews fossil fuels, relying on an electric heat pump system for temperature regulation and operable windows for ventilation. Natural plaster and Swedish pine tar finishes enhance indoor air quality. A permeable stone surface envelops the building, aiding runoff capture and erosion mitigation.

Celebrating Erdman’s Renowned Body of Work

Richard Erdman divides his time between his Vermont studio and Carrara, Italy, where he quarries and sculpts marble. With four decades under his belt, Erdman has produced a celebrated body of work displayed in museums and private collections worldwide. Annex is envisioned as a space where Erdman can carry forward his illustrious career, further enriching his artistic legacy.

Photography by Michael Moran Studio

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