eral shadow lines, constitute the only embellishment. Custom
kitchen cabinets are white, the countertop white concrete, and the
storage cabinets birch plywood. Typical of the attention to detail
throughout, local maple, cut in short lengths and laid perpendicular to the view, gives the floor a waterlike texture. The only bursts
of color are the yellow door and a red lampshade over the table.
With a 12-foot ceiling at one end, and each wall offering an
individual composition of windows and views, this does not feel
like a one-room house. Move the table and the daybed, and there
is enough room to square-dance. It is a misnomer to label this a
micro house; rather, it is a distinctive and substantial dwelling
that happens to be small.
Given its size, affordability, and possible template for similar houses, it is a laudable design exercise in social responsibility. As Vermont Public Radio commentator Don Kreis opined
on-air, “Only the wealthiest among us can afford an
architect-designed house,” but, he added, Elizabeth
Herrmann’s jewel of a house “is a distinctly Vermont
rebuttal to that notion.”
the eye is drawn to the mountain framed by the picture window (above),
but a subtler note is the tokonoma to the left, a built-in recessed shrine,
which the Japanese typically install in an entrance hall to display prized
aesthetic objects. At night, the small but multifaceted house glows from
within (facing page), creating a sculptural composition.