Haffenden House – A Private Writing Studio/Library in Syracuse, NY

This small house has been squeezed into a narrow, parking-space sized lot in Syracuse, NY. Created by the architecture studio Para Project, the multi-purpose building has been named Haffenden House. It serves as a writing studio, and has its own library.


Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Exterior - Humble Homes

The front facade of the house is clad in an unusual semi-transparent silicon layer, which, when combined with the light from the windows, creates a space flooded in natural light. The inside of the house is finished in a bright white throughout, adding to the sense of spaciousness in the living areas.


Jonathan Lott Architecture Projects

The project was completed in 2014. The first floor serves as a garage/workspace. The library can be found on the next level up, and comes with its very own bathtub, placed in the middle of the room, in front of a very large window.


Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Library with Bath - Humble Homes

To provide a little modesty, there’s a privacy curtain that can be draped across the window. The walls of the library are stacked from floor to ceiling with books. There’s also a desk, daybed, and a small bathroom tucked away in a corner, with a shower and toilet.

Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Cutain Window - Humble Homes

The final level of the house is occupied by the sleeping quarters. There’s a large “pillow bed” placed in the middle of the room, with a number of skylights and smaller windows providing viewpoints and light. A small storage nook in the corner can be used for items of clothing.

Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The house doesn’t appear to contain a kitchen (usually a must-have for most), but I suppose it’s intended to function solely as a writing studio and a private library. It’s a private, and personal retreat placed in the middle of what looks to be a bustling residential area.

Via TreeHugger
Photos: PARA

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. surprised this design made it through zoning in this apparently traditional neighborhood. it’s interesting but, to my eye, not a great architectural or aesthetic fit.

  2. I recognize that thought (or at least some thought — even in a retreat one needs to eat. So why no kitchen?) went into the design of the house itself, no thought was given to the community in which it sits. Urban blight, anyone?

  3. I think someone needs to recognize in this design that open shelved books and bath tubs with steamy hot water do not a great pairing make . . . unless those are faux books for the chic literary looks ;) And, no kitchen you say, of course not, what needs any dedicated bookworm for a silly kitchen ;)

    Normally, I love most of the designs you post but this one is too pretentious for me to take seriously as a writer’s retreat for any serious word smithing. Let’s hope I don’t have to eat my own words if the owner proves to be William Shakespeare Jr. lol.

  4. are there no set back requirements in this town? ghastly infill and absurd use of space. and I am one who loves and always creates a library in my homes.

  5. It`s all been said already.

    It does make one wonder what the planning guys were thinking ( were they thinking at all ?) .