Even the most talented people experience writer's block from time to time. The Djerassi Resident Artists Program, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is a place where creatives can go to rejuvenate their spirit and get some serious work done. To achieve this, it starts with the architecture–the spaces must be conducive to writing.
Architect Cass Calder Smith was commissioned to design lodging for the program. Called the Diane Middlebrook Studios, the project brief was left open-ended. “Think about what a creative writer would enjoy being in and go for it,” he told Fast Company. “The land is so powerful. The basic thing was to make sure you can look out and see the surroundings.” He also knew that a distraction-free environment was essential in the artistic process.
Smith's solution was four cedar-clad cabins that are each 280 square feet (26 square meters). They are situated close to one another, but still feel isolated because they don't share walls, nor can you see the other buildings once you're inside. Decor wise, each studio features a set of stylish basics–a bed, writing desk, and chair. A sliding glass door faces south and passively heats the interior, in addition to the galvanized metal roof with solar panels. Although they're relatively simple units, this is perfect for achieving interruption-free solitude and natural beauty that so many people crave.
Photography by Paul Dyer.